A new EU report has found 6% of Britons lack adequate financial services, placing the UK in 10th place out of the top 15 developed European States.
In the European Commission’s financial services provision and prevention of financial inclusion report – only Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece have a higher percentage of the public financially excluded in the EU 15.
The EC says financial exclusion, difficulty accessing and using financial services and products, hinders a person’s ability to “lead a normal social life in the society in which they belong”.
While the Eurobarometer data paints a poor picture for the UK, the number of people with no revolving credit is 30% (ranked fifth) and those with no savings total 22% (ranked seventh).
The percentage of the UK public who have at least one loan is 24%, ranking 12th in the EU 15.
The EC also pointed to the UK Government’s annual Family Resources Survey, which shows 7% of households in Britain lacked any mainstream financial products at all, with a further 19% having only one or two products.
Across the entire European Union, the UK sits in the medium-low level of financial exclusion category (3% to 8%) – alongside Germany, Austria, Finland, Spain and Slovenia.
The EC identified Luxembourg, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, France and Sweden as the benchmark in financial inclusion.
“Financial exclusion – a lack of access to adequate financial services – can stop people from participating fully in society, for example by preventing them from getting a job, if they cannot receive bank transfers,” EC employment, social affairs and equal opportunities commissioner Vladimír Špidla says.
“Public authorities – both at national and European level – have a responsibility to guarantee that all Europeans can access and adequately use the financial services they need.”IFAonline
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