More than three million Australians lack access to critical financial services, including transaction accounts, credit cards and basic home and car insurance, a new report by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) and NAB has revealed.
Young people, migrants and people in low-paying work – earning between $20,000 and $25,000 per year – are the most at risk of being ‘financially excluded’.
Many of these disadvantaged Australians are reportedly relying on pricey, short-term cash loans because they aren’t allowed access to mainstream banking.
The cost of living is a major factor, according to the report, which shows that the cost of these basic financial services is now more than $1700 per year.
“People are doing it tough,” NAB personal banking group executive, Gavin Slater, says. “We’re wealthy on average, but the average, I think, is misleading. House prices have put pressure on disposable incomes, there are a lot of people earning a relatively low wage and the cost of living has increased.”
“The fact there is a demand out for it [cash loans] in Australia shows that the mainstream banking system is failing these people. It’s unacceptable in today’s society that people end up having to do that.”