Up to seven million people have no access to loans, authorised overdrafts and credit cards, leading many to seek out other, more damaging, ways to obtain credit.
The Better Banking Campaign, which comprises charities and local groups, has found that millions of people are in danger of using loan sharks and door-step lenders who charge very high interest rates on cash loans to people who can least afford them.
Banking situation is deplorable
Treasury figures show 1.75 million people are without a basic bank account. Steve Wyler of the Better Banking Campaign described the situation as ‘deplorable’. He added: ‘Most people believe access to bank accounts and affordable credit are basic rights, so we want to see this as a priority for all political parties.’
Britain needs better banks
The lack of access to free banking and affordable credit are among the issues being debated by the Future of Banking Commission, which recently heard calls for greater social inclusion from consumers and interested parties, such as Toynbee Hall.
The Commission is tasked with looking at what caused the financial crisis and what could be done to prevent another credit crunch. It is chaired by David Davis MP, and also features Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Dr Vince Cable MP, Treasury Select Committee chair John McFall MP and Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith. The Commission will meet four times between February and March, and submit a report of its findings to the government during the summer.
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