London Assembly calls for change for short changed youth
Today (8 January), the London Assembly Economy Committee published its 48-page report “Short changed: the financial health of Londoners”.
The report paints a grim picture, with 44% of people in the UK, who are in financial difficulty are between the ages of 18 and 34.
On top of that, 27% of 18 to 30 year olds in London say they are in debt all the time; and a third of all users of high-cost loans are 18-34 year olds. In addition, 40% of 18-24 year olds are less confident about managing their money, compared to 22% of the rest of the UK adult population.
Caroline Russell AM (Assembly Member), chair of the Economy Committee, says: “The cost of living has increased in the capital and many Londoners are cut off from accessing affordable financial services, such as loans and credit cards. They have to turn to high-cost credit, like payday lenders to make ends meet.
“The mayor of London has committed to tackle financial exclusion in London. While technology and innovation is one part of the solution, we want the mayor to show real leadership in improving the financial health of Londoners.”
To rectify this, it has several recommendations for the mayor, including:
- Create a young person’s banking charter, with the aim of ensuring all 16-18 year olds has a bank account – with a commitment to provide an account by default;
- Commission an annual survey of London households on their financial activity, to get a better understanding of “underbanked” communities;
- Hold a “Money Advice Week” to promote affordable credit and use TfL advertising space to promote credit unions;
- Work with schools, charities and the financial services industry to educate young people.
The full report can be found here.