Financial inclusion ‘one step closer’

The government’s commitment to providing everyone with access to financial support has moved closer to its goal, an expert has suggested.

David Dooks, statistics director at the British Banking Association, said the universal banking initiative had opened up a number of opportunities to the general public in the last six years.

He commented: “For those who had no previous banking relationship, there are now 4.3 million people able to access their basic bank accounts at post offices.”

Furthermore, another 3.5 million people had benefited from ‘basic-function’ accounts, which allow individuals first-step access to payment services and cash withdrawal.

According to BBA figures, in the first three months of 2009 there were 145,000 Post Office accessible accounts opened and a further 26,000 upgraded from existing customers.

Earlier this week, the organisation revealed that the number of new loans approved for the purchase of properties is starting to increase, with mortgage lending rising by £2.3 billion in May this year.

By Francis Finch


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