Financial Inclusion and Capability
Improving financial inclusion and capability in the UK are important elements of Santander's Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
Financial inclusion refers to the objective of ensuring that everyone, and in particular people living on low incomes, has access to the financial services and products that they need.
Financial capability means being able to manage money and having a basic understanding about the basic principles of financial products.
Money advice relates to the availability of information and advice that allows people to manage their money effectively. We provide funding for the Money Advice Trust (MAT), operator of the National Debtline and Business Debtline. These services provide free, confidential and independent advice to consumers and small businesses on how to deal with debt problems.
Basic accounts are an important first account for many people who have not operated a bank account before or who are not confident in managing their money. They offer many of the same benefits as other current accounts without the worry of more complex features or overdraft facilities. Santander is committed to ensuring that individuals have access to the banking system and we focus our attention on ensuring that customers are provided with accounts that best meet their circumstances.
Affordable credit refers to access to relatively small loans at reasonable interest rates from responsible lenders such as credit unions or community development finance institutions (CDFIs). These loans, usually of a few hundred pounds, are crucial in helping people on low incomes to manage their cash flow without resorting to high-cost alternatives or unscrupulous lenders.
Whilst the objectives of improving financial inclusion and financial capability are distinct there is significant overlap in activities that address these issues, and many of the initiatives that Santander is involved address both financial inclusion and capability.