Access to money

A bank account for every Londoner

08 January 2018
  • 44 per cent of people in the UK, who are in financial difficulty are between the ages of 18 and 34.[2]
  • Around a quarter (27 per cent) of 18 to 30 year olds in London say they are in debt all the time.[3]
  • A third of all users of high-cost loans are 18-34 year olds.[4]
  • 40 per cent of 18-24 year olds are less confident about managing their money, compared to 22 per cent of the rest of the UK adult population.[5]

The London Assembly Economy Committee report ‘Short changed: the financial health of Londoners’, published today makes a number of recommendations for the Mayor, including:

  • 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.[6]
  • 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.

Caroline Russell AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, said:

“The cost of living has increased in the capital and many Londoners are cut off from accessing affordable financial services, such as loans and credit cards. They have to turn to high-cost credit, like payday lenders to make ends meet. 

The Mayor of London has committed to tackle financial exclusion in London. While technology and innovation is one part of the solution, we want the Mayor to show real leadership in improving the financial health of Londoners.

It is absolutely crucial that young people are given the right support in terms of their finances, when they leave school. For many, it is the first time they will be responsible for their own money.

Education and support are key, as actions at this critical stage can have real consequences, in terms of credit ratings and long-term financial health. We strongly urge the Mayor to target his efforts in helping this group specifically.”

The report will be launched at London’s Living Room, City Hall, with an introduction by Robert Peston, Journalist and Presenter and speakers:

  • Sian Williams, Director of the Financial Health Exchange, Toynbee Hall
  • Faisel Rahman, Managing Director, Fair Finance
  • Tony Greenham, Director of Economy and Inclusive Growth, RSA and Deputy Chair, Greater London Mutual

Date and time: Monday, 8 January 2018, 10:45am-1:30pm
Address: London’s Living Room, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, More London, SE1 2AA

Please notify Lisa Lam in advance on 020 7983 4067 or at [email protected]

 Follow us @LondonAssembly and tweet about the report using #AssemblyEconomy and #ShortChanged

Notes to editors

  1. ‘Short changed: the financial health of Londoners’ report attached.
  2. Understanding the financial lives of UK adults, Financial Conduct Authority (2017)  
  3. Worrying Times, Young Women’s Trust (2017) 
  4. Financial regulator warns of growing debt among young people, BBC, 16 October 2017
  5. Understanding the financial lives of UK adults, Financial Conduct Authority (2017)  
  6. ‘Underbanked’ refers to people who may hold or have some form of a bank account, but they are not able to access quality and affordable financial services, or the advice and support to make sustainable financial decisions. 
  7. Caroline Russell AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, is available for interview. Please see contact details below.
  8. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

For media enquiries, please contact Lisa Lam on 020 7983 4067.  For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer.  Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.


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