Select Committee on Treasury Thirteenth Report

2  Progress on the financial inclusion agenda

Responses to our Report

4. On 28 March 2007, the Government sent us its response to our three original Reports, a response which we published on 4 April.[4] On 28 March 2007, the Government published a document setting out its latest actions on financial inclusion.[5] The Government's own response to our Reports has been complemented by separate responses which we have also received from the Financial Services Authority (FSA),[6] the Banking Code Standards Board (BSCB),[7] and the Financial Inclusion Taskforce.[8] At our request, the Government provided further information on the response to some outstanding recommendations in May 2007.[9] In this chapter we survey some of the main recommendations of our original Reports other than recommendations relating to savings and the way in which the Government and others have responded. We discuss the Government response to a number of individual recommendations later in this Report. However, we welcome the positive tenor of the Government response and the range of actions it has taken to give substance to that positive response.

A strategic and coordinated approach

5. In our Report on the role of Government relating to financial inclusion, we pointed to evidence of a lack of coordination of efforts across Government to tackle financial exclusion.[10] We argued that longer term strategic planning and the involvement of all Government departments were vital in promoting financial inclusion.[11] We recommended that the Treasury take the lead in developing a long-term strategy for implementation by departments across Government.[12]

6. The Government set out "the general principles for its developing financial inclusion strategy" in its document entitled Financial inclusion: the way forward published in late March 2007.[13] That document stated that financial inclusion "is about ensuring that everyone has access to appropriate financial services, enabling them to:

  • manage their money on a day-to-day basis, effectively, securely and confidently;
  • plan for the future and cope with financial pressure, by managing their finances to protect against short-term variations in income and expenditure, and to take advantage of longer-term opportunities; and
  • deal effectively with financial distress, should unexpected events lead to serious financial difficulty."[14]

7. The Government also announced that a Ministerial working group drawn from departments with a policy interest in financial inclusion and chaired by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury would be established to determine detailed priorities for financial inclusion policy.[15] One of the functions of the working group would be to prepare a detailed action plan to be published after the announcement of the outcome of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, an action plan that would be prepared in consultation with the financial services industry.[16] Although we make more specific comments about aspects of the Government's financial inclusion strategy document published in March 2007 later, we welcome its publication and the establishment of the Ministerial working group on financial inclusion. We look forward to examining the Government's financial inclusion action plan and further proposals of that working group in due course.

Secure funding for financial inclusion

8. At the time of the 2004 Spending Review, the Government announced the establishment of a Financial Inclusion Fund to which a total of £120 million was assigned for the period from 2005-06 to 2007-08 for allocation by various Government departments and agencies.[17] Last year we expressed concern at the lack of a joined-up approach to allocation between departments and at the lack of certainty about funding beyond 2007-08.[18] In response, the Government announced that there would be a new Financial Inclusion Fund in the next spending period—from 2008-09 to 2010-11—and that "the Government commits to maintain the current level of intensity of action to promote financial inclusion, with the exact quantum of the new Fund to be determined in the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review".[19] The Fund would be limited to that spending period, with financial inclusion policy to be "mainstreamed into the departmental budgets after the next spending period".[20] The Government defended the use of the different allocation systems of various Government departments, while confirming that the Treasury had overall responsibility for determining financial inclusion priorities.[21] We welcome the Government's commitment to continued funding to enable maintenance of the current level of intensity of action to promote financial inclusion up to 2010-11. We expect to examine the final allocation of resources to the Financial Inclusion Fund following the announcement of the final outcome of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

9. A substantial proportion of the initial Financial Inclusion Fund was allocated to support for an increase in the provision of face-to-face money advice—£15 million in 2006-07 and £30 million in 2007-08.[22] Last year we welcomed the recruitment of over 450 debt advisers that this funding had made possible, but noted that "the short-term nature of the funding offered so far places those debt advisers at risk of redundancy almost as soon as they have developed their expertise".[23] In response, the Government stated that it would evaluate the effectiveness and value for money of existing projects, but committed itself to "ongoing support for the provision of money advice in the next spending period".[24] Citizens Advice, which was the principal recipient of this funding, described the commitment to future funding as "very welcome".[25] We welcome the commitment to continued funding of face-to-face money advice up to 2010-11 and look forward to learning more about the Government's evaluation of projects so far.

The future of the Financial Inclusion Taskforce

10. The Financial Inclusion Taskforce was established by the Treasury to advise Government and others on progress in tackling financial exclusion and was launched in February 2005. We called for an expansion of the Taskforce's role, while noting the need for an increased role to be matched by additional resources.[26] The Government confirmed that the Taskforce would continue its role in the future, working to a new remit to be finalised to reflect the action plan to be issued after the announcement of the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review.[27] The Taskforce confirmed in evidence to us that it expected to be involved in the development of the action plan, and Mr Brian Pomeroy, Chairman of the Taskforce, also indicated that he considered the Taskforce's resources to be adequate for its work.[28] We consider the role of savings in the Taskforce's remit later in this Report.[29] We welcome the Government's commitment to a continuing and expanded role for the Financial Inclusion Taskforce.

Basic bank accounts

11. Access to banking services is essential to financial inclusion. The Government and the banking industry worked together to introduce basic bank accounts in October 1999, founded on a common model which was designed specifically to address the needs of the financially excluded. The Family Resources Survey of 2002-03 indicated that 1.9 million households, containing around 2.8 million adults, still lacked access to an account of any kind. In December 2004, the banks and the Government agreed to work towards the goal of halving the number of adults in households with no account of any kind—"the shared goal"—and to have made significant progress in that direction within two years.[30]

12. Last year we examined the operation of basic bank accounts and the case for legislative compulsion to establish a universal service obligation. We did not consider that a sufficient case for legislative action had been made, but we also noted the Minister's statement that a legislative approach was "not off the table" and we identified a number of benchmarks for progress by which the success of the voluntary approach was to be measured.[31]

13. First, we identified the need for further information from banks about their contribution to progress towards the "shared goal" and their own operation of basic bank accounts, including information about the results of the regular "mystery shopping" exercises undertaken by the BCSB to check on the quality of service for those seeking to open basic bank accounts.[32] In response, the Government confirmed that it would be seeking further information from the banks. The BCSB has also taken steps towards enabling the results of its 2007 mystery shopping exercise in relation to individual banks to be published.[33]

14. Second, we called for greater emphasis on the operation of basic bank accounts as opposed to numerical progress in achieving the opening of such accounts, identifying inconsistencies in service quality, relating, for example, to counter services and cheque clearing and arguing that, "in the medium term, the Government should establish a more sophisticated goal which should take account of actual usage of bank accounts by those who were previously financially excluded rather than focusing simply on the numbers with access to such accounts".[34] In its response, the Government accepted that "opening a bank account, while very important, is only a first step in becoming financially included".[35] The Financial Inclusion Taskforce told us that it was working with the Government and the banks to gather evidence and develop options about usage of basic bank accounts, and the Taskforce has commissioned research on the experience of consumers in operating such accounts.[36] The OFT Payment Systems Task Force has separately reached agreement with banks that, with effect from November 2007, the cheque-clearing cycle for basic bank accounts will be in line with the standard cycle.[37]

15. Data from the Family Resources Survey of 2005-06 indicated that there were 2 million adults in 1.3 million households without access to a bank account, compared with 2.8 million adults in 1.9 million households in the equivalent Survey for 2002-03.[38] The Government is committed to working with the banks to reduce these numbers of the "unbanked" still further, and will report on further action agreed with the banks in a detailed action plan after the announcement of the outcome of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.[39] We look forward to the publication by the Financial Inclusion Taskforce of further information on the opening and operation of basic bank accounts. We also look forward to a statement by the Government later this year about further action agreed between the banks and the Government to ensure that the number of people who are "unbanked" is further reduced. We expect to continue to monitor developments in this area, possibly in the context of our forthcoming inquiry into Competition in Retail Banking.

Access to non-charging cash machines

16. Our work on financial inclusion in the current Parliament has sought to build upon the inquiry by our predecessors on cash machine charges. In a Report in March 2005, the then Treasury Committee made a series of proposals to ensure that charging cash machines did not lead to financial exclusion.[40] That Report was followed by a range of activities, including a debate in Westminster Hall on 16 February 2006, which we described in a Report on our work in 2005 and 2006 and which led to the establishment of a working group chaired by the Chairman of this Committee.[41]

17. The report of the working group announced an agreement by banks, building societies, independent cash machine operators and the Post Office together to provide over 600 new non-charging cash machines across 1,707 target low-income areas that the working group had identified as lacking convenient access to such machines. To achieve this, a market-based financial incentive—known as the "financial inclusion premium"—would be introduced to encourage Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) operators to place or retain free ATMs in deprived areas.[42] As of 15 June 2007, sites for 471 of the 600 new ATMs required had been successfully identified, 127 new free machines were already operating and 344 were contracted for installation. The "financial inclusion premium" was introduced on 1 March 2007.[43] The Minister told us that work was continuing to identify 130 further sites, but thought that "this has been a very, very worthwhile initiative indeed in meeting our financial inclusion objectives".[44] We welcome the progress so far achieved towards the target of providing over 600 new non-charging cash machines and look forward to examining further progress in due course.

The Post Office Card Account and its successor

18. The Post Office Card Account (POCA) was established in 2003 as a simple means to enable account-holders to receive State benefits, State pensions and tax credit payments. The Account has proved very popular, with over 4.3 million customers holding such accounts as of April 2006. The costs to the Government of making payments into a POCA are considerably greater than for making payments into bank and building society accounts.[45] Early in 2006, the Government announced that the current POCA would cease to be available when the existing contract ended in 2010.[46] The Government was seeking to encourage customers of POCAs to use or open bank or building society accounts for the receipt of benefits.[47] When we considered the POCA last year, we noted that there would need to be a successor to the POCA for those who could not obtain or manage a full bank account. We recommended that the Government work with the Post Office to introduce a successor to the POCA with greater functionality.[48]

19. Since we last reported, the Government has announced that there would be a new account in succession to the POCA from 2010 and that the new account would be available nationally. Customers would be eligible for the account on the same basis as they were for the POCA. The Government stated that it was required by EU procurement rules to tender competitively for this new product, but considered that Post Office Ltd would be well placed to put in a strong bid given the size of the Post Office network and the access criteria that the Government would be introducing as part of its restructuring of the Post Office network.[49] The Trade and Industry Committee considered the Government's latest announcements on a successor to POCA in a Report published in March 2007. That Committee called for early clarification of the features of 'POCA2', noting that post offices would gain significantly if POCA2 "were to offer users a better service, including, for example, the possibility of making cash deposits into an account".[50] That Committee also drew attention to the importance of the migration from POCA to POCA2 being "as seamless as possible".[51]

20. On 17 May, the Government began the tendering process for the successor product to POCA. The Government decided that customers using the new product ought to be able to access their cash at an ATM as well across a counter throughout the United Kingdom. The Government rejected the case for further extensions to functionality, partly because it did not wish to "create a basic bank account by another name" and partly because the provision of a facility to make cash deposits would require further identity checks for new applicants.[52] Identity checks have also proved problematic in relation to basic bank accounts, although the FSA has sought ways to make identification requirements more flexible and is committed to reviewing the operation of the current guidance.[53] The Government stated that the tender notice required that migration be completed by March 2010 and be done in a seamless way.[54] The Minister told us:

We are now in the early stages of tendering for the successor regime to the Post Office Card Account to make sure that people who want to access benefits through the Post Office will continue to be able to do so … We need a successor regime which strengthens the Post Office network and that is what we have done as a result of our discussions.[55]

In view of the steps that have been taken to enhance the flexibility of identity requirements relating to money laundering regulations, we are disappointed that the Government has apparently discounted the option of making even limited cash deposits into the successor to the Post Office Card Account. We recommend that the Government re-examine this possibility in conjunction with the FSA as a matter of urgency. We note the Minister's confidence that the process of tendering for a successor to the Post Office Card Account will strengthen the Post Office network, and we will monitor the progress of the tendering process and the migration to the successor product to see that this confidence does not prove to be misplaced.

Tackling high cost credit

21. People who are on low incomes or financially excluded often pay more for credit than others.[56] Last year, we identified several areas for further action relating to high cost credit, most notably:

  • a role for the Government in galvanising enforcement against illegal lenders, including by extension of pilot projects to tackle illegal money lenders;[57] and
  • rapid implementation of measures arising from the Competition Commission's investigation into high cost credit.[58]

22. Since then, there has been progress in both these areas:

  • additional funding has been granted to expand the pilot projects for tackling illegal lending in 2007-08 and thereafter the projects will be extended nationwide; greater efforts will also made to help victims gain access to financial advice and affordable credit;[59]
  • the Competition Commission produced its final report on the home credit market in November 2006, which recommended remedies to problems relating to compulsory data-sharing by home credit lenders, transparency for customers, including through regular statements, and ensuring customers were offered fair early settlement rebates; both the Competition Commission and the Government have taken action to implement these recommendations.[60]

Further progress is still needed in these areas. In May 2007 the Minister cited an estimate that at least 165,000 families in Britain were still forced to use illegal loan sharks instead of affordable mainstream credit.[61] We welcome the Government's plans for the nationwide extension of projects to tackle illegal lending. We recommend that the Government set out, in its response to this Report, any evidence of the effectiveness of the projects so far in reducing levels of illegal lending, and that it report progress regularly thereafter.

Affordable credit and the Social Fund

23. The financially excluded often use high cost credit or illegal lending because of difficulties in accessing to affordable credit. Last year, we pinpointed measures which could be taken to increase access to affordable credit. We noted that improved data-sharing between lenders, particularly in relation to those with good payment records, could improve the prospects for some borrowers.[62] Building on the work of the Treasury Committee in the last Parliament relating to the credit card industry,[63] we recommended that the Government and the Financial Inclusion Taskforce "investigate as a matter of urgency the benefits of wider data-sharing in increasing access to affordable credit and the barriers to such data-sharing".[64] In October 2006, the Department of Trade and Industry had issued a consultation document on proposals for further and wider data-sharing in the credit industry, and the consultation closed on 11 January 2007.[65] The Financial Inclusion Taskforce told us that it would liaise with the Department of Trade and Industry about the results of the consultation exercise, while expressing some concerns about the value of some data from home credit providers and about the risk that data-sharing might entrench lack of access for some.[66] There have been no further announcements from the Department of Trade and Industry or its successor relating to data-sharing since the consultation closed. In view of the urgency which we attached to progress on data-sharing within the credit industry as a method of increasing access to affordable credit, we regret the lack of reported progress on this matter by the credit industry and the Government. We recommend that the Government, in its response to this Report, provide a full account of actions taken in this area and proposed further actions.

24. The availability of affordable credit can be significantly enhanced through the further development of third sector and not-for-profit lenders. We highlighted two particular ways in which such availability could be enhanced. First, we emphasised the need to improve the legal framework within which credit unions operate.[67] We consider progress in relation to this recommendation later in this Report.[68] Second, we examined the role of the Government's £36 million Growth Fund for third sector lenders and recommended that the Government consider how best to provide longer term funding for third sector lenders, including through support for improvements to the technical capabilities of such lenders.[69] In response, the Government stated that it was establishing an objective of achieving a step-change in the coverage of third sector lenders. The Government has asked senior representatives from the banking sector to work with the Financial Inclusion Taskforce to consider how to achieve a nationwide increase in the coverage and capacity of third sector lenders. A further £6 million was to be committed to the Growth Fund, to support new lenders, to support the emergence of new banking providers and to fund a capacity-building programme.[70] We welcome the Government's commitment to an objective of achieving a step-change in the coverage of third sector lenders and its actions so far in pursuit of that objective, including its promotion of a dialogue involving senior representatives from the banking sector and its further financial support for capacity-building among third sector lenders. We expect to continue to monitor progress in relation to this new objective, including through examination of the contribution of banks to support for third sector lenders.

25. Most of those in debt have little or no savings available to them. A survey by Citizens Advice of its debt clients in 2006 found that only 10% of the sample had a positive balance in a bank or building society account and that the average amount held was just £404.[71] Citizens Advice suggested that arrangements for the repayment of debt made by the credit industry offered little flexibility for even minor changes of circumstances, and recommended that debtors should be encouraged, where possible, to save a small amount each month or week to build up a small "buffer" or "reserve". Citizens Advice argued that the Common Financial Statement, which was a joint initiative by the Money Advice Trust and British Bankers Association, could be amended to include a standard provision for saving by those in debt.[72] ABCUL told us that credit unions had arrangements in place to encourage people to save small amounts while they were repaying loans, and to extend their savings when a loan had been repaid.[73] We recommend that the Government initiate a dialogue with the credit industry to examine whether arrangements for the repayment for debt, including the Common Financial Statement, could be adapted to provide increased provision for and encouragement of saving at a suitable level by those in debt.

26. The Government plays a direct role in the provision of affordable credit through the lending activities of the Social Fund. Last year, after examining the role of loans from the Social Fund, we:

  • concluded that the funding for the Social Fund should more clearly match the needs of those on low incomes;
  • noted evidence to suggest that the Social Fund was failing in its mission to assist those most in need of credit;
  • argued that it was essential that the Social Fund became more fully integrated with other provision of affordable credit for people on low incomes; and
  • recommended that the Department for Work and Pensions conduct a review to explore how the Social Fund's contact with the financially excluded could be made more productive.[74]

In May 2007, the Work and Pensions Committee published a Report on the Social Fund. That Committee concluded that the lack of reform of the Social Fund was at odds with the steps being taken to tackle financial exclusion, characterised the Social Fund as being "in limbo, pending wider Government on financial inclusion" and recommended that the Department for Work and Pensions "address the performance of the Fund as a matter of urgency".[75]

27. In its response to our Report, the Government reaffirmed its commitment "to ensuring that the Social Fund fulfils its aim of helping the poorest and most vulnerable people in society meet one-off needs", but did not respond substantively about long-term funding or the specific recommendation for a review of the Social Fund's contacts with the financially excluded.[76] In its response to the Report of the Work and Pensions Committee, the Government stated that it continued to consider the role of the Social Fund and the scope for reform, but did not refer to any funding decisions beyond 2008-09.[77] The Government's response to our conclusions and recommendations relating to the Social Fund suggests a lack of commitment to improving the Social Fund. We wish to see a renewed commitment from the Government to the reform and future funding of the Social Fund as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, bearing in mind that there will be a considerable time lag before measures to achieve a step-change in the coverage of third sector lenders make a significant impact on the capacity of that sector.

Financial capability

28. Many of the issues relating to financial inclusion that we have explored depend upon financial capability—the ability and confidence to choose and use appropriate financial services products.[78] Last year, we received evidence to suggest that people's understanding of financial matters had not kept pace with the range of financial products available to them.[79] We made a number of recommendations to improve financial capability, including that:

  • the FSA strengthen its work on financial capability so that such work better addresses the needs of the financially excluded, including by drawing in extra funding for this work;[80]
  • co-ordination between Government departments be improved, with a lead Department established;[81] and
  • improving financial education in schools be a major objective of the Government's ten-year strategy for improving financial capability.[82]

29. In its response, the FSA indicated that it would spend £17.1 million on financial capability in 2007-08—compared with only £3.6 million in 2004-05—and noted that the new level of spending "will need to be maintained over the course of many years if the necessary step change [in financial capability] is to be delivered". The FSA also indicated that the increased budget "has been allocated to specific and measurable activities".[83] In January 2007, the Government published a document describing its long-term approach towards financial capability, which announced the establishment of an informal Ministerial group, chaired by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, to establish common goals across Government for improving financial capability and to enable faster progress to be made.[84] The Government has committed itself to publishing a financial capability action plan by the end of 2007.[85] In response to our Report, the Government stated that "the 'economic well being' strand of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education puts financial capability alongside enterprise education, at the heart of the secondary curriculum".[86] We look forward to the publication of the Government's financial capability action plan by the end of 2007 and we will continue to monitor the activities of the FSA and the Government to enhance financial capability.

Generic financial advice

30. Our inquiry last year identified an "advice gap" in the financial services market which could most effectively be filled by generic financial advice—unregulated advice which takes account of the specific financial circumstances of an individual, but which does not result in a product recommendation.[87] We recommended that the Treasury assume lead responsibility for taking forward discussions on the provision of generic financial advice through a national network, targeted especially at people on lower incomes.[88]

31. In January 2007, the Government accepted that "there needs to be a substantial increase in the provision of generic financial advice, and much greater awareness among people of the benefits of using generic financial advice to plan and manage their finances".[89] The Government also stated that "there is a clear case for developing a national approach to generic advice".[90] At that time, the Government announced that it was establishing an independent feasibility study, led by Otto Thoresen, Chief Executive of AEGON UK, "to research and design a national approach to generic financial advice, reporting to the Government by the end of the year".[91] The Minister emphasised that the Thoresen review would examine how a national generic advice network could be delivered in practice and gave some indication of his current thinking by stating that the Government believed that there was a case

For a first port of call, nationally branded, probably a telephone and Internet in the main service which can then help to route you in the right directions, give you some basic information, allow you to understand choices, take you down different routes, including … interface face-to-face. It has never been the Thoresen national advice service versus face-to-face [Citizens Advice Bureaux]; they are both parts of the picture, but I think there is a case for something which is additional to the local networks we have at the moment and want to expand.[92]

32. In a speech in early July 2007 Mr Thoresen outlined the emerging themes of his review. He indicated that the new service was unlikely to use the words "generic financial advice" in its strapline; he said that the review had identified a strong feeling that the new service needed to build on the existing infrastructure of public advice networks, which suggested that the solution might be a decentralised approach with a small central body performing an advisory, strategic and accreditation function; he emphasised that efforts to secure funding from the private sector would be based on a business case rather than an appeal to altruism.[93] We welcome the Government's commitment in principle to the development of a national generic financial advice service and the establishment of the Thoresen review to examine its feasibility. We note the emerging themes of that review and look forward to examining its outcome.

Access to insurance

33. During our inquiry last year we noted that insurance services that most people took for granted were often not available on affordable terms for the financially excluded.[94] We recommended that the remit of the Financial Inclusion Taskforce be extended to cover access to insurance.[95] In response, the Government indicated that access to insurance products would be prioritised in its work on financial inclusion and that the Government would work with the Financial Inclusion Taskforce and the Association of British Insurers to address key questions about how to take forward insurance within the financial inclusion strategy. The remit of the Taskforce was extended to include insurance and a new member was appointed to the Taskforce to provide an expert perspective on its insurance work—Bridget McIntyre, UK Chief Executive of Royal and SunAlliance plc.[96] The Government has set a goal that "simple insurance products should be available to all who need them".[97] We welcome the Government's decision to treat insurance as a priority area within its financial inclusion strategy and the initial investigation of the nature of the problem of exclusion from insurance which is underway. We recommend that the Government and the Financial Inclusion Taskforce report on the outcome of their initial investigation in response to this Report.

4   Treasury Committee, Fourth Special Report of Session 2006-07, Financial inclusion: Government and other Responses to the Committee's Twelfth and Thirteenth Reports of Session 2005-06 and the Committee's First Report of Session 2006-07, HC 437, pp 1-40 Back

5   HM Treasury, Financial inclusion: the way forward, March 2007 Back

6   HC (2006-07) 437, pp 41-47 Back

7   Ibid., pp 48-50 Back

8   Ev 42-46 Back

9   Ev 70-71 Back

10   HC (2006-07) 53, para 84 Back

11   Ibid., para 87 Back

12   Ibid. Back

13   HC (2006-07) 437, p 39 Back

14   Financial inclusion: the way forward, para 1.4, p 5 Back

15   HC (2006-07) 437, pp 2, 36 39; Financial inclusion: the way forward, para 4.3, p 41; Q 293 Back

16   HC (2006-07) 437, p 2; Q 293; Financial inclusion: the way forward, paras 4.4-4.6, pp 41-42 Back

17   HC (2005-06) 848-I, paras 6-7; Financial inclusion: the way forward, Box 1.2, p 8 Back

18   HC (2006-07) 53, paras 70-74, 88-92 Back

19   HC (2006-07) 437, p 2 Back

20   Ibid., p 2 Back

21   Ibid., pp 35-36 Back

22   HC (2005-06) 848-I, para 120 Back

23   Ibid., para 123 Back

24   Financial inclusion: the way forward, paras 3.65, 4.32, pp 40, 47 Back

25   Ev 63 Back

26   HC (2006-07) 53, paras 63-68 Back

27   HC (2006-07) 437, p 2; Financial inclusion: the way forward, para 4.2, p 41 Back

28   Ev 42; Q 2 Back

29   See paragraphs 52 and 54. Back

30   HC (2005-06) 1717, paras 7-10 Back

31   Ibid., paras 12-19 Back

32   Ibid., paras 20, 26, 36 Back

33   HC (2006-07) 437, pp 21, 50 Back

34   HC (2005-06) 1717, paras 65, 71, 72, 77 Back

35   HC (2006-07) 437, p 23 Back

36   Ev 45; HC (2006-07) 437, p 50; Financial inclusion: the way forward, para 4.11, p 42 Back

37   HC (2006-07) 437, p 23; Ev 45 Back

38   Ev 43; HC (2005-06) 1717, para 6; HC (2006-07) 437, p 22 Back

39   Financial inclusion: the way forward, paras 4.9-4.10, p 42 Back

40   Treasury Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2004-05, Cash Machine Charges, HC 191 Back

41   Treasury Committee, Third Report of Session 2006-07, Work of the Committee in 2005-06, HC 191, paras 42-43 Back

42   ATM Working Group, Cash machines - meeting consumer needs, December 2006 Back

43   HC Deb, 19 June 2007, cols 79-80WS Back

44   Q 292 Back

45   HC (2005-06) 1717, paras 97-99, 101, 102 Back

46   Ibid., para 101 Back

47   Ibid., paras 110-112 Back

48   Ibid., para 113 Back

49   HC (2006-07) 437, pp 28-29 Back

50   Trade and Industry Committee, Third Report of Session 2006-07, Stamp of Approval? Restructuring the Post Office Network, HC 276, para 39 Back

51   Ibid., para 40 Back

52   Trade and Industry Committee, Eighth Report of Session 2006-07, Restructuring the Post Office Network, HC 593, p 15  Back

53   HC (2005-06) 1717, paras 39-50; HC (2006-07) 437, p 43 Back

54   Ibid., p 16 Back

55   Q 326 Back

56   HC (2005-06) 848-I, paras 20-24 Back

57   Ibid., paras 25-27 Back

58   Ibid., paras 28-30 Back

59   HC (2006-07) 437, pp 3-4; Financial inclusion: the way forward, paras 3.59-3.61, 3.67, 4.34, pp 39, 40, 47 Back

60   Competition Commission, Home credit market investigation: final report, November 2007; HC (2006-07) 437, p 4; Financial inclusion: the way forward, paras 3.34-3.35, p 34; Competition Commission, "The Home Credit Market Investigation Order 2007: Notice of intention to make an Order under section 165 of, and Schedule 10 to, the Enterprise Act 2002, and public consultation on the proposed Order", June 2007 Back

61   HM Treasury, Speech by the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Ed Balls MP, at the Opening of the Bristol Institute of Public Affairs, Bristol University, 25 May 2007 (hereafter Minister's Bristol Speech), para 12 Back

62   HC (2005-06) 848-I, para 34 Back

63   Treasury Committee, Second Report of Session 2004-05, Credit card charges and marketing, HC 274, paras 52-62 Back

64   HC (2005-06) 848-I, para 35 Back

65   Department of Trade and Industry, Consultation on the Removal of Barriers to the Sharing of Non-Consensual Credit Data, October 2006; HC (2006-07) 437, p 5 Back

66   Ev 43 Back

67   HC (2005-06) 848-I, paras 62-64 Back

68   See paragraphs 116-121. Back

69   HC (2005-06) 848-I, paras 45-49 Back

70   HC (2006-07) 437, p 6; Financial inclusion: the way forward, paras 4.18-4.20, pp 43-44 Back

71   Ev 63 Back

72   Ev 63-64; Qq 196-197 Back

73   Ev 49 Back

74   HC (2005-06) 848-I, paras 73-81 Back

75   Work and Pensions Committee, Sixth Report of Session 2006-07, The Social Fund, HC 464, paras 99, 104 Back

76   HC (2006-07) 437, pp 11-12 Back

77   Work and Pensions Committee, Second Special Report of Session 2006-07, Social Fund: Government Response to the Committee's Sixth Report of Session 2006-07, HC 941, p 7 Back

78   HC (2006-07) 53, para 7 Back

79   Ibid., para 8 Back

80   Ibid., paras 11-20 Back

81   Ibid., paras 21-22 Back

82   Ibid., paras 30-36 Back

83   HC (2006-07) 437, p 44 Back

84   HM Treasury, Financial Capability: the Government's long-term approach, January 2007 (hereafter Financial Capability), para 4.55, p 52 Back

85   Ibid., para 4.58, p 53 Back

86   HC (2006-07) 437, p 33 Back

87   HC (2005-06) 848-I, paras 124-127; Financial Capability, para 4.40, p 49 Back

88   HC (2005-06) 848-I, para 139 Back

89   Financial Capability, para 4.43, p 50 Back

90   Ibid., para 4.52, pp 51-52 Back

91   Ibid., para 4.53, p 52 Back

92   Qq 330-331 Back

93   Thoresen Review of Generic Financial Advice, Speech by Otto Thoresen at Westminster and City "Rethinking savings" conference, 5 July 2007 and press notice, "Thoresen outlines the emerging themes in his Review of Generic Financial Advice", 5 July 2007, available at Back

94   HC (2005-06) 848-I, paras 145-150 Back

95   HC (2006-07) 53, para 68 Back

96   HC (2006-07) 437, p 2; Financial inclusion: the way forward, paras 3.49, 4.26, pp 37, 46; Q 2; Ev 71 Back

97   Financial inclusion: the way forward, para 1.12, p 6 Back

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