Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Housing and Regeneration
Today, I am publishing a Financial Inclusion Progress Report and Forward Look.
The report provides a summary of the important work that has taken place in Wales during the two years since publication of the Financial Inclusion Strategy and Delivery Plan in 2016.
The Welsh Government’s vision for financial inclusion is for everyone living in Wales to have access to appropriate and affordable financial services, be supported by quality assured information and advice services, and have the financial capability and motivation to benefit from the financial services available to them.
The Financial Inclusion Delivery Plan, which covers the period up to 2021, focusses on the practical actions necessary to achieve this vision. It sets out actions against the strategy’s three themes:
- Access to affordable credit and financial services
- Access to financial information, including debt advice
- Building financial understanding and capability
These actions are not only for Welsh Government. We have been working closely with partner organisations across the public, private and third sectors, which are well placed to promote financial inclusion and financial capability. Some actions relate to issues outside the control of Welsh Government and our Welsh partners, but we have been actively seeking opportunities to engage with and influence at a UK level in order to achieve positive outcomes for Wales.
Two years on from publication of the Strategy and Delivery Plan, I feel it is important to provide stakeholders and citizens with an update on financial inclusion activity in Wales. The report provides an overview of some of the key activities taking place across Wales, and the forward look identifies key challenges for the next twelve months. It is intended to provide a snapshot, recognising that not all work carried out by our partners, in delivering a variety of financial inclusion activities across Wales, can be captured in this report.
The progress report reminds us that financial inclusion has a vital role to play in ensuring everyone in Wales has a fair and equal chance in life. Delivering prosperity for all is the key objective of the Welsh Government. Taking forward our work on financial inclusion supports the ‘Prosperous and Secure’ commitments set out in the National Strategy, which aim to ensure that no person in Wales experiences financial exclusion.