Millions of Aussies lack access to critical financial services

by AB17 Jun 2013

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.”