That is a question that the Just Finance Foundation’s ‘Building a Fairer Financial System in Liverpool City Region Summit’ hopes to address.
Julia Webster, from the Just Finance Network and Together Liverpool explains what the event on Monday 4th June aims to achieve.
“We want to look at the financial system now and ask why it isn’t working for people at the lower end of income scale. The economy has moved on over the last few years and there has been an increase in irregular streams of income due to a rise in zero hours contracts and ‘gig economy’ type short contract or freelance jobs. Traditional methods of paying bills such as direct debit may not work as well for people in this type of employment but they still need to be able to budget and manage finances. Bank accounts and ways of saving have not moved as fast as the economy. There is also a deep entrenchment in certain population groups where people have not moved out of poverty.”
The aim is to map financial exclusion, identify who is affected and consider priority groups; to define what inclusion for these groups entails and what improvements could be made over 3, 5 and 10yrs; to consider the causes and how they could be addressed, what’s already being done; to identify key actors, partnerships and who’s missing, also assets and barriers and how these could be addressed to make progress over the first three years.
We hope that a wide cross section of society will be interested in getting involved in this conversation. Particularly welcome are influencers and decision makers from the financial sector as well as community change agents that include churches and faith groups. We need the conversation to be as wide as possible.
The findings from the summit will be recorded, written up and distributed so interested parties can use them to inform their own planning. Just Finance Network will use the insight to develop a three year programme of development, working with partners to act on systemic change.