Book News: July 7th, 2009

This guide from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Commission for Rural Communities gives practical advice and solutions based on the experiences of individuals and organisations around the country. It is designed to help local authorities and their local strategic partnership members understand, identify and tackle financial exclusion in rural areas.

Financial exclusion is a real challenge in rural areas. Over 200,000 people living in rural communities have no access to a bank account of any kind, 250,000 people have no local access to either a post office, bank or building society or cash machine and demand for affordable credit and debt advice is outstripping supply. Despite these significant challenges, financially excluded people living in rural areas are less visible and more difficult to reach than those in urban areas. Rural Money Matters marks an important step forward in raising awareness of this issue and improving rural financial inclusion.

The guide identifies financial exclusion ‘hot spots’ in rural areas and clearly presents the scale and depth of the challenge. It also demonstrates how to promote financial inclusion in rural areas through case studies highlighting good practice. There is also help for policy makers and programmers working on financial inclusion to ensure their work is ‘rural proofed’ by considering and addressing rural circumstances.

The guide is available from Rural Communities.