An update from Financial Inclusion for Scotland: Moving at Pace

17 Mar 2023

  • Financial Inclusion for Scotland

When we launched Financial Inclusion for Scotland (FIFS) at the end of last year, we made clear that our aim was to work to develop a financial inclusion strategy for Scotland. We promised that we would work at pace and keep partners, friends and other stakeholders updated on our progress.

In January, members of FIFS kicked off a series of information gathering sessions that will help to inform the development of this strategy. These sessions are designed to explore particular aspects of financial inclusion and understand the issues and challenges that a strategy might address.

The first session included participants from across Scotland’s credit union sector, recognising the important and established role that credit unions play at the heart of local communities. In further recognition of this role, ABCUL (the Association of British Credit Unions) will attend future meetings of FIFS, to provide a link for credit unions and their membership bodies into the work of FIFS.

The second information gathering meeting heard contributions from group members and other invited guests from the money and debt advice services including Money Advice Scotland, the Money and Pensions Service and Christians Against Poverty. There is no doubt that the teams of advisers working across these services provide an exceptionally valuable service but in a time of growing need and where, in many cases, suggested interventions will make very little difference for individuals and families experiencing poverty. Uncertainty around the funding for these services has a further impact on the health and well-being of colleagues in these services. A report is expected shortly which FIFS will share with our networks.

465 X 330 Headshots (465 × 350 Px) (26)

Our next meeting of FIFS will take time to explore the role of the banks and other financial institutions in financial inclusion in a session being hosted by Scottish Financial Enterprise.

Should you have any comments or questions about the work of FIFS, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Written by Social Investment Scotland's CEO, Alastair Davis.

Founding members of Financial Inclusion for Scotland include Social Investment Scotland, Scottish Financial Enterprise, Fintech Scotland, the Money and Pensions Service, Scotcash, StepChange, Salary Finance, Fair4All Finance, Money Advice Scotland and The Poverty Alliance.