The Treasury Committee is today launching a new inquiry into consumers’ access to financial services. It will focus on the interaction between vulnerable consumers and financial services firms.
The Committee will scrutinise whether certain groups of consumers are excluded from obtaining a basic level of service from financial services providers. It will also examine whether vulnerable consumers pay more for financial services products.
Commenting on the launch of the inquiry, Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said:
“Vulnerability, as defined by the FCA, is where someone who, due to their personal circumstances, is especially susceptible to detriment, particularly when a firm is not acting with appropriate levels of care.
“With customers expected to take more responsibility for their financial planning and resilience, bank branches closing, and the number of free-to-use ATMs falling, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for vulnerable customers to access certain financial services.
“The Committee will examine the practicality of the FCA’s definition, the effectiveness of attempts by financial services providers to prevent increased financial exclusion, and whether a premium is placed on products such as travel insurance for vulnerable consumers.
“As part of this inquiry, we’ll be holding sessions outside of Parliament to hear from vulnerable consumers who have interacted with financial services providers.”