Summary of a report presenting the findings of a project that examined the extent, form and consequences of financial exclusion amongst new migrants in Northern Ireland and develops policy recommendations to promote financial inclusion in the future. This research has found that the majority of new migrants, those with a legal right to be in Northern Ireland, have access to a bank account. However, there are a number of barriers for new migrants in accessing these accounts, and once they are opened there are barriers to accessing other financial products and services. There are also barriers to accessing advice and information.
Although the research found a high level of access to bank accounts, significant barriers to financial inclusion remain. The main barriers to accessing services for all groups are: language and a lack of translation/ interpretation services in the banks and building societies. This is in terms of face-to-face transactions, meetings and written information; unclear or impossible documentation requirements; and a lack of coherent policy across the banks and building societies on who can open an account and what type of account they can hold.