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Credit: Low Incomes

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government is taking to encourage initiatives from mainstream lenders to provide affordable credit to those on benefits and others at risk of financial exclusion. (177882)

I have been asked to reply.

The Financial Inclusion Task-force has defined the role for banks in respect of affordable credit as supporting the growth of third sector lenders. The Government’s recent action plan for financial inclusion announced a commitment by the banks—building on successful work in partnership with Government to increase take-up of basic bank accounts, and their support for other financial inclusion initiatives—to support third sector affordable credit. This will include action to develop new provision in 25 high priority areas identified by the Financial Inclusion Task-force; the Government will work with the banks to identify areas most suitable for action.