Financial Inclusion, as defined by Fair4All Finance, “means that individuals, regardless of their background, income or personal circumstances, are aware of and have timely access to appropriate and affordable financial products and services which enable them to manage their finances day to day, build their long-term financial resilience and wellbeing and participate in society.”  

Financial inclusion remains a significant challenge for the UK with 12.9 million people currently experiencing low financial resilience according to the latest Financial Lives 2022 survey by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).  

For example: 


Fair By Design is calling on the Government to introduce a cross-cutting ‘must have regard’ to financial inclusion for the FCA. This would place a clear remit on the regulator to ensure it considers financial inclusion across its work. This would enable it to consider poverty premiums, which almost always sit outside of its remit, as a financial inclusion issue. 

Throughout the past 12 months, we worked closely with the House of Commons and House of Lords during the passage of the Financial Services and Markets Bill, putting forward an amendment calling for such a ‘must have regard’.  

We received cross party support in the House of Commons and support from the Treasury Committee in their report on the future of financial services regulation.  

We were thrilled the amendment passed in the House of Lords, despite opposition from Government, with cross-party support in the Lords from Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. 

Sadly, the amendment was rejected in the House of Commons, despite support from Labour, Liberal Democrats and Scottish National Party.  

We will continue to work with Members of Parliament calling for a ‘must have regard’ to be introduced. As one of the next steps the campaign is also calling for a national strategy on financial inclusion that would include a ‘must have regard’.  

The issue 

The FCA does not have a clear duty or cross-cutting objective to tackle financial inclusion. This results in many consumers falling through the cracks, with regulator and Government often pointing to each other for action. It is not right that there is no clear statutory requirement for the FCA to even consider financial inclusion issues. 

The solution  

We are calling for a new focus on financial inclusion (known as a “have regard”), which would create clarity on how far market regulation can address financial exclusion and where social policy is needed instead, or if they are needed together. This would place a clear remit on the financial regulator to ensure it routinely examines financial inclusion. 

Past campaign activity ⬇️