Access to money

Short changed: the financial health of Londoners

Date published: 
08 January 2018

London is a leading global financial centre, but many Londoners are struggling to access quality and affordable financial services.

More and more Londoners are turning to high-cost credit providers, such as payday lenders, to meet their needs.

Young people are more exposed to economic uncertainty and financial insecurity than generations before.

They need support to access the right services and resources to be financially healthy.

London’s smaller businesses are also facing some of the challenges individuals do in accessing quality and affordable financial services. Many of these businesses—which are often self-employed individuals—are overlapping their personal and business finances: with sub-prime lenders lending to the individual rather than the business.
As the crunch on living standards continues, bold, and, potentially, transformative ideas are needed to support the financial resilience of Londoners.

The Mayor can play an import role in bringing together partners to explore new ideas and innovations that can support the financial health and wellbeing of Londoners.

Financial Inclusion - Economy Committee

Financial Inclusion Report Launch - Economy Committee

Key facts

  • More than a million Londoners are in serious debt.
  • 44 per cent of people in the UK, who are in financial difficulty are between the ages of 18 and 34.
  • Around a quarter (27 per cent) of 18 to 30 year olds in London say they are in debt all the time.
  • A third of all users of high-cost loans are 18-34 year olds.

Recommendations

  • Work with the financial services industry, schools and colleges to create a young person’s banking charter, with the aim of ensuring all 16-18 year olds has a bank account. The Charter should include a commitment from banks to provide young people with a bank account by default.
  • Commission an annual survey of London households on their financial activity, in order to get a better understanding of London’s ‘underbanked’ communities.
  • Hold a Money Advice Week to promote affordable credit and use TfL advertising space to promote credit unions.
  • Work with schools, charities and the financial services industry to deliver high quality financial education for young people.

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