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Victoria Roberts

Director of Fintech Delivery Panel and Insurtech Board, Tech Nation

Leading fintech organisations are coming together to address the growing problem of financial exclusion in the UK.

Financial exclusion is a growing problem in the UK with millions of people struggling with money. The situation has worsened during the pandemic with more individuals finding it harder to make ends meet and excluded from accessing financial services.

To highlight and address this, the fintech sector – which harnesses technology to advance financial services – is coming together through the “Finclusion 2021” campaign to encourage a culture of financial inclusion, driven by Tech Nation’s Fintech Delivery Panel.

Addressing financial exclusion

Victoria Roberts is Director of the Fintech Delivery Panel at Tech Nation, the leading accelerator for scaling UK tech companies. She says: “Financial exclusion could happen to anybody. Factors that can drive being excluded from the financial system range from disability or being made redundant, through to the financial impacts of a cancer diagnosis, or not having the right identification documents to access a bank account.”

Chris Pond, Chair of Financial Inclusion Commission and co-Chair Finclusion 2021, comments: “Recent FCA figures suggest four in 10 adults (20 million) have seen their financial situation worsen during the pandemic and one in five would not be able to cover more than a month of living expenses if they lost an income source.”

We want to provide a platform that brings together purposeful people from financial institutions, fintechs and civil society.

Tech-enabled solutions

The 2021 Finclusion campaign aims to promote tech-enabled solutions to financial exclusion challenges and builds on existing innovations such as alternative ways to assess credit ratings, pre-payment cards for those without a current account to access online shopping, and new approaches to supporting vulnerable customers. Sujata Bhatia, COO Monzo and co-Chair Finclusion 2021 says: “Customers expect this of us. Employees expect it of you. And we all exist to make this a better world”.

It follows the Kalifa Review of UK fintech, which identified that innovative fintech solutions have the potential to do more still to reach the financially excluded. “What we want to do with the campaign is encourage, inspire and support those fintech entrepreneurs that would like to start or scale a more socially-driven business,” Roberts adds.

Societal cost of exclusion

“We want to provide a platform that brings together purposeful people from financial institutions, fintechs, and civil society to raise awareness of the issues, stimulate discussion and drive action to solve these problems of financial exclusion.”

Shân M. Millie, founder of Bright Blue Hare and co-Chair Finclusion 2021, says: “Financial exclusion was a problem pre-COVID: it is, arguably, nothing short of an emergency today.”

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