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UK Cards responds to the Financial Inclusion Commission

The Financial Inclusion Commission (FIC) has been established to make financial inclusion a national priority ahead of the 2015 General Election. It seeks to identify the measures most urgently needed to extend access to financial services, and to secure a pledge to tackle the problem in the manifestos of all major UK political parties. The Commission will build on the work and progress of the Financial Inclusion Taskforce that was formed in 2005 to advise HM Treasury and wound up in 2011. Since 2011, there has been a widening gap between real incomes and living costs, the growing importance of digital delivery of financial services, and in welfare reform which demands a high level of financial inclusion and capability. This means that new work on the issue of financial inclusion is particularly needed.

The Commission is taking evidence around the country over the coming months before producing a report in early 2015 assessing the current situation and making practical tangible recommendations that can be acted upon by government, regulators, and financial services providers. UK Cards has provided oral evidence to the Commission as well as the written evidence below, showing that the card payment industry has a long standing commitment to responsible lending, including aiming for wider financial inclusion, through long term and sustainable customer relationships.

On 11 March 2015, the Financial Inclusion Commission published a report on the oral and written evidence it had received. The report makes 22 recommendations on how to improve financial inclusion in the UK, including backing our proposal that the Government needs to enable the use of public sector and non-traditional data in credit scoring to make access to financial services easier for excluded groups.

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