Lord Mayor calls for urgent action to tackle financial exclusion

Today, the 694th Lord Mayor, Nicholas Lyons, will host the first ever Financial Inclusion and Literacy Summit at Mansion House.

Speaking to an audience made up of senior Government ministers, including the Economic Secretary Andrew Griffith MP, academics and leading business figures from the financial and professional services industry, he will urge the development of an action plan to address the growing number of people across the UK who are being locked out of the financial services market.

An extract from the Lord Mayor’s speech is found below.

“In the UK today, around half of working-age adults have the numeracy level expected of a primary school child. At the same time, a quarter of adults have less than £100 in savings and half of people don’t feel confident managing their money day-to-day.

Poor financial literacy is just one of the issues facing nearly 13 million adults with ‘low financial resilience’– that’s everyone in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Sheffield combined.

A yearly survey by the Financial Times on financial inclusion found, last year, that 20 per cent of those they interviewed felt locked out of the UK’s financial services market, having been denied loans and access to credit.

The update to that survey, published a few days ago, found that 28 per cent feel locked out that percentage rises to 45 per cent for black and ethnic minority groups.

I outline the problem like this not to scare off anyone for solving it but to show that this is a multifaceted problem, one with many over-lapping issues. It has as much to do with education as it does with financial regulation, a problem not only about how we grow up but how we prepare to grow old.

It is exactly the kind of complex issue which requires thorough discussion, different viewpoints, and examples from those leading the way in tackling this problem.

By acting on financial inclusion and literacy, we can create a more resilient, more equal society one where people are empowered by their skills and the support society gives them not only to manage their money but to reach their true potential.”

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