The FCA today published Occasional Paper No. 17: Access to Financial Services in the UK. According to the FCA statement, UK individuals and households increasingly are expected to take responsibility for their own financial well-being. Yet they can only do this if they have access to financial services that meet their changing needs throughout their lifetime. There is also growing understanding that consumers’ ability to access these services helps to improve market integrity, drive competition and promote financial stability and economic growth. However, potentially millions of UK consumers cannot use the services that would help them meet their needs and play their wider role in financial markets and the economy.
This Occasional Paper aims to stimulate ideas and foster a culture of access and inclusion throughout retail financial services, that embraces firms, regulators, government and consumer organisations. Importantly, this paper was commissioned to prompt debate culminating in a range of questions for the FCA to consider. The findings are not solely for the FCA to take forward, and there may be responsibility for others in the regulatory family, government, firms and consumer groups.