Headlines: October 23rd, 2008

The Department for Work and Pensions has launched a “Champions” campaign to help people suffering from financial exclusion. The Champions will signpost people to existing financial services and will also work in partnership to develop new services in areas where people do not have access to the facilities others take for granted.

Champions have been appointed for Scotland, Wales and the north east of England. There are also Rural and Housing Champions. Regional Financial Inclusion Champion teams are being rolled out throughout Great Britain, with teams expected to be in place by January 2009.

The campaign will build on the existing “now lets talk money” campaign, and will work with local authorities, social landlords and other key partners to make sure people have access to basic financial services, such as safe saving, bank accounts, money advice, home contents insurance, and affordable credit.

The Champions will work with organisations that come into daily contact with people who are financially excluded and they will provide the advice, support and services to those who need to improve their financial situation.

The Financial Inclusion Champions project is part of a joint initiative between the DWP and the Treasury which has provided 100,000 people throughout Great Britain with affordable loans through credit unions and other organisations.