Financial Services: Race


Limited research is available regarding race and access to financial services.  However, broadly speaking, ethnic minority communities face increased risks of poverty.

In this regard, further research will be added to this section, as and when it becomes available.  However, the following characteristics and priorities offer an insightful perspective of how poverty manifests:



Research by the Personal Finance Research Centre suggests non-white people were twice as likely as white people to feel “trapped in a cycle of borrowing”, through their use of short term credit. 

Source: Personal Finance Research Centre. 2013. The Impact on Business and Consumers of a Cap on the Total Cost of Credit.

Anecdotal evidence suggests certain sections of ethnic minority communities have difficulty in accessing mainstream financial services.  Issues effecting access include:

  • Knowledge of available financial services;
  • understanding of processes and documents needed to engage with financial institutions;
  • language barriers

Broader research highlights the informal networks utilised by ethnic minority, asylum and refugee communities to gain access to services.  Voluntary, community and faith organisations appear to operate as valuable mediums of engagement.

These organisations could therefore be utilised as the means to articulate messages regarding credit and debt (e.g. new initiatives, saving schemes etc)

Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 2011. Poverty and Ethnicity Summary.

Source: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. 2011. Poverty and Ethnicity Scotland.