Financial inclusion is important for human well-being, improving access to education as well as social and economic participation. By tackling financial exclusion we can reduce poverty, vulnerability to predatory lending and poor physical and mental health outcomes.
In 2015 Australia recognised the importance of financial inclusion by agreeing to the G20 Financial Inclusion Action Plan and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. The government has established a Financial Inclusion Action Plan program to help organisations identify how they will support greater financial inclusion.
We’ve joined this program, and will be developing and launching our Action Plan in 2017. The program gives us access to the insight and resources of Good Shepherd Microfinance, Centre for Social Impact, EY and the Australian Government, as well as the other forward looking organisations involved in the program. To this mix we bring an understanding of the power of ethical business and investment to solve problems where traditional models have failed.
These are some of the areas we’re going to look at as we develop our plan:
- Design of our investment funds and services
- How we communicate with clients and potential clients
- How we identify and respond to clients in financial or other difficulty
- Recruitment and support for staff who are excluded or at risk of exclusion
- Improving financial literacy
- Procurement from organisations that support excluded groups
- Investment and support for enterprise and programs promoting financial inclusion
- Public advocacy for policy and industry reform to advance inclusion.
Find out more in our Financial Inclusion Commitment.