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Financial Inclusion

The overall aim of the Financial Inclusion funding programme was to ‘re-balance’ the financial services market in favour of low-income consumers. This is now closed.


The Foundation began funding work under this heading in 2006, supporting projects that sought to create conditions under which access to appropriate financial services might be permanently improved for those were  excluded. Services included banking, free debt advice, savings and affordable credit.

The Foundation’s main giving programme for 2009 – 2012 was a refocused Financial Inclusion programme – with some new, and very specific, outcomes that Trustees wanted to see achieved:

  1. A shared vision amongst key stakeholders of what financial inclusion means and the ways it might be achieved.
  2. Universal banking access: identification of viable models for community-focused banking services, along with sustainable sources of capital and an appropriate regulatory framework.
  3. Sustainable approaches to funding debt advice: the development of sustainable, accessible, efficient and on-going funding streams.
  4. Increasing savings: helping low-income groups to build savings, as a way to help combat poverty and develop future personal autonomy.
  5. Clarification of the role of affordable credit in building greater financial inclusion: there are still questions about the role of credit in our society and these should be explored and clarified.
  6. Sustaining the progress made towards financial inclusion thus far: identifying and supporting third sector providers of financial services that are used by low income people.

In December 2011, Trustees took stock of what had been achieved so far under the heading of Financial Inclusion and decided not to accept any further funding applications on an unsolicited basis. This would allow effort to be devoted to maximising the impact of the work funded to date and for the remaining resources allocated to the programme to be focused on commissioning work to fill any identified gaps. Consideration would also be given to launching a brand new funding programme, which would not have Financial Inclusion objectives.


Details of all outputs from all projects funded under the Financial Inclusion funding programme can be found here. The documents themselves can be downloaded here.


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