The Financial Inclusion Centre submitted its response to HM Treasury’s important consultation on reforming financial markets. The Centre argues that the priorities for government intervention and financial market reforms should be to reform financial markets so that they are:
- fair and inclusive;
- efficient and competitive;
- sustainable and produce socially useful products and services;
- well governed and accountable to consumers and wider society;
- stable and secure; and
- properly and robustly regulated.
While complacency must be avoided due to the risk of a secondary banking crisis, interventions by policymakers do seem to have been successful in rescuing and stabilising the banking and financial system and the worst of the immediate crisis may have passed. However, we must not forget how the financial crisis has affected the most vulnerable consumers in the form of higher unemployment, repossessions and arrears, and exposure to financial scams and arrears. The Centre calls on the Government to launch a new Financial Crisis Action Plan to protect the most vulnerable consumers from the crisis and ensure consumer financial needs are met in future.