On the margins: society's most vulnerable people and banking exclusion

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Consumer Focus (Great Britain)
Consumer Focus
Date of publication
1 September 2011
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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This report examines progress towards financial inclusion for the most vulnerable people without bank accounts. The research aimed to: understand the banking needs of people falling into a number of identified marginalised groups without bank accounts; explore the extent to which these consumers differ from others without accounts and require specific policy responses; identify the extent and nature of detriment associated with not having an account experienced by marginalised groups; reflect attitudes towards and aspirations for banking inclusion among marginalised consumers and identify the barriers to becoming banked; assess the potential benefits of banking inclusion for these consumers and for wider society; and explore how the needs of the most marginalised groups of consumers without bank accounts might most appropriately be met in the context of wider policy on banking inclusion. In total, 50 in-depth interviews were conducted. The categories covered were: people experiencing disruptive life events, such as bereavement, bankruptcy, the onset of a debilitating illness or disability; people who were homeless; new migrants, recently arrived in the UK; long-established residents from minority ethnic groups, speaking little or no English; adults with mental health problems; adults with learning disabilities; ex-offenders; women fleeing domestic violence; and users of illegal loan sharks.

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