Financial services provision and the prevention of financial exclusion

Key contributors (PFRC): Professor Elaine Kempson
Funded by: European Commission via Réseau Financement Alternatif
Published by: European Commission
Publication date: May 2008

Access to financial services, such as current accounts, credit, or insurance, varies greatly across Europe.

The overall aim of this study was to identify and analyse the most effective policy measures taken by EU Member States, Acceding Countries and EFTA/EAA Countries in the area of financial services provision and the prevention of financial exclusion of people facing poverty or social exclusion.

Within this there were a number of more specific objectives, including:

The study was conducted in three stages:

  1. A review of existing research, leading to the implementation of a general definition of financial exclusion, and analysis of selected issues. This stage will also include the development of a framework for collecting information across the range of countries to be studied.
  2. The collection of information and data across 14 countries and the selection of case studies. This will include country reports and secondary analysis of Eurobarometer data, and a survey of financial access in one EU-10 country.
  3. A synthesis of the country information to draw conclusions about the best mix of policies and programmes to widen access to financial services and tackle financial inclusion.

Led by Réseau Financement Alternatif, the research team included PFRC, the University of Milan (Department of Economics), and the Warsaw School of Economics (Centre for Financial Services Market Research and Institute of Social Economy).

In May 2007 the European Commission held a conference in Brussels to disseminate and discuss the findings of the study.

Financial services provision and prevention of financial exclusion
[ Full report (PDF, 1,578kB) | Research summary (PDF, 152kB) | Eurobarometer report (PDF, 278kB) ]

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