Financial Guidance and Claims Bill [HL] - Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:30 pm on 24th October 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Drake Baroness Drake Labour 6:30 pm, 24th October 2017

I will carry on the spirit of the contribution of the noble Lord, Lord Kirkwood. In Committee, several Peers ran several amendments trying to capture this issue of vulnerability—whether it was vulnerability because of a health shock or because of some standing reason. As the noble Baroness, Lady Finlay, explained in moving her amendment, the attraction of Amendment 11 is that it does not seek to list or define. It just tries to capture the principle that there is a category of people who become or who are vulnerable for a series of reasons, and they need to be addressed.

The purpose of the single financial guidance body is to achieve a series of improved public and individual outcomes by improving a person’s financial capability, but a person’s capability cannot be improved—it just cannot happen—if they are excluded from the market for financial services or denied the access or the means to make good decisions. As my noble friend Lord McKenzie and I frequently say, the fundamental, immutable requirement of financial capability is that you are included and have access. You cannot begin to become capable without it. One feels the sense around the Chamber, which I hope the Minister is able to find a way of recognising, of a wide concern and a very constructive amendment. It is not overprescriptive but allows the financial guidance body to recognise that it needs to address this problem.