01 Jul 2021
Increasing financial inclusion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities
We’re teaming up with other organisations on research into barriers to finance faced by people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
We’re partnering with Fair4All Finance, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and StepChange on new research into how ethnicity influences access to financial products and services in the UK.
The research will explore practical short, medium and long-term solutions to current inequalities, such as:
- 60% of Asian and 63% of Black households have no savings, compared to 33% of White households*
- Black African, Black Caribbean and Bangladeshi groups are 4x, 3.5x and 2.5xmore likely to be denied a loan respectively compared to White groups*
The goal is to understand barriers to finance and explore how financial services providers can be more inclusive of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. Along with our partners, we’ll use the research insights to enable the development of well-designed and effective solutions to increase the financial inclusion of these communities.
Regulators, policymakers and people working in financial services will also be able to use the findings to inform their decisions on how to improve outcomes for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
An advisory committee formed of practitioners across the financial services sector including StepChange, Fair Money Advice, Money A+E, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, BBC Children in Need and NatWest Group, will advise on the development of the research and share data led insights with the researchers.
Importantly, everyone involved is committed to taking the insights and recommendations forward, to improve access to appropriate financial products and services for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
Sacha Romanovitch OBE, CEO of Fair4All Finance said:
“People from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities face greater exclusion from the financial system. There are multiple issues in the entrenched design and behaviours in the system that contribute to this.
“However there’s little research on the recent experiences of exclusion by ethnicity in the UK, the reasons behind these issues or how to address this exclusion. This research aims to change that.
“We’re grateful to everyone who is collaborating with us on this important work, including our co-funders Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and NatWest Group. It’s great to have a major retail bank like NatWest stepping forward to take a lead in this research and we welcome others who want to play their part in achieving equity and inclusion in financial services."
Katie Murray, Chief Financial Officer and Financial Inclusion Sponsor at NatWest Group said:
“Financial inclusion is at the very heart of our purpose, to champion potential so that the people, businesses and families we serve can rebuild and thrive.
“In our 2020 report, Banking on Racial Equality, we made a number of commitments to our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic customers, colleagues and communities, including understanding the socioeconomic barriers facing these communities through research and strategic partnerships, delivering enterprise and career education programmes, and building financial capability.
"We're proud to be collaborating on this important and unique research. We know there’s more we can and must do to remove barriers to finance, and this research will help us drive real, necessary change across NatWest Group and the finance industry."