Measuring Financial Exclusion in Australia

Status: Completed May 2012

Authored by Chris Connolly

In May 2011 the Centre for Social Impact published its first measurement of financial exclusion in Australia. The research – commissioned by NAB - is repeated annually and is now in its third year.

Project objectives

The objective of this research is to improve our understanding of financial exclusion and its interaction with social and economic disadvantage in Australia.

This year’s report highlights the substantial and growing proportion of the Australian population who remain excluded from financial services. Combined with earlier reports in this research series, we can see that there is a large unmet need for access to affordable and appropriate products.

The report also provides a comprehensive profile of the demographic characteristics of Australians who are excluded, highlighting factors such as age, income, country of birth and location. We also provide insights into the key difficulties reported by individuals who struggle to obtain or keep financial products.

Overall, the efforts to address financial exclusion in Australia appear to be dwarfed by the scale of the problem. Alternative and innovate approaches to microfinance products, distribution and support services need to be investigated to meet the growing levels of financial exclusion in a way that is sustainable.

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