Investor Brief: Promoting Financial Inclusion in Canada’s Financial Services Sector

Financial exclusion and the growth of alternative financial institutions can partially be attributed to the lack of appropriate and affordable financial products and services that meet the unique financial needs of low-income and other financially underserved groups . For institutional investors with long-term investment horizons and whose returns depend heavily on the overall health of the economy, financial exclusion carries significant risks. Opportunities, however, exist for Canada’s financial institutions to improve financial services provision to underserved market segments, enabling these institutions to build new client bases and generate acceptable returns. This investor brief outlines the risks and opportunities for investors of financial exclusion. It recommends that institutional investors engage with Canada’s mainstream banks to encourage greater product, service and delivery innovations to improve financial service provision to low-income and underserved groups.

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