The House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion Reports Back
Last August, Merton CIL responded to an inquiry by The House of Lords Select Committee on Financial Exclusion on behalf of our members. We told them about the disadvantage being faced by Disabled people across all areas of our lives.
Through our casework with local disabled people, we were able to evidence that Disabled people do experience financial exclusion and associated negative consequences. Financial exclusion directly impacts on disabled peoples day to day lives, principally in the realm of having an inadequate income and experiencing poverty, which leads to isolation and a negative impact on health and sense of well-being.
Financial exclusion also results in a very real loss of independence and control over our lives. Some of the examples, based on our casework, which we shared were:
- Lack of physical access to banks or post offices
- Lack of accessible methods to use banking services
- Difficulties with changing inappropriate appointees
- Poor support with Direct Payments
- Issues with Local Authority Financial Assessments
- Targeting of vulnerable people and lack of safeguards
"I tried to use telephone banking and they asked me how old I would be on my next birthday. I asked my friend to help me with my maths, so the operator froze my account".
We are now pleased to be able to let our members and supporters know that the Select Committee has published their report and we welcome the recommendations in the report. They made 22 recommendations, around improving financial inclusion, including rules setting out a reasonable duty of care for financial services providers to exercise towards their customers. Other key (in our opinion) recommendations, are that the Government, working with the Financial Conduct Authority and the British Bankers’ Association, should carry out a review of reasonable adjustment practices for disabled customers, as well as recommendations around high-cost loans and Universal Credit problems.
To read the full report from the Select Committee, or to watch a video on the issue, use this link: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/financial-exclusion/news-parliament-2015/financial-exclusion-report-published/