financial exclusion

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The disbarring of the disadvantaged and the poor from financial services. Financially excluded people typically: lack a bank account; rely on alternative forms of credit (such as doorstep lenders and pawnbrokers); and lack key financial products such as savings, insurance, and pensions. An estimated 8% of UK households (around 2.8 million adults) lacked a bank account of any kind during 2002–3 (HM Treasury 2004).

The socio-spatial characteristics commonly associated with financial exclusion include low-income households, single- and lone-parent households, social housing tenants, and residence within a deprived urban area (E. Kempson and C. Whyley1999). ‘The concept of exclusion is problematic, not only because of its predominant association with economic (labour market) participation but also because of its highly moral undertones’ (Midgley (2005) Area 37, 3). Financial exclusion often reinforces other aspects of social exclusion: see Chakravarty (2006) Reg. Studs 40. Pollard and Samers (2007) TIBG32, 3 observe that the ‘excluded’ may also comprise a whole range of individuals who prefer, on religious, moral, or other grounds, not to engage with Western financial institutions. See Li et al. (2001) Env. & Plan. A 33 on ethnic minorities, banks, and overcoming financial exclusion in Los Angeles.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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