VANCOUVER, Nov. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - A new report released today by SHARE sheds light on the risks investors
face as a result of growing financial exclusion in Canada.
The report notes that an increasing number of Canadians are underserved by the
financial mainstream, leaving them unable to build savings, access
affordable credit or obtain appropriate financial advice. Moreover,
underserved groups - including low-income people, new immigrants, and
Aboriginal Canadians - are more likely to use high-fee products offered
by a burgeoning alternative financial service industry.
"For investors, financial exclusion carries significant risks.
Principally, it contributes to the negative economic trends we are
seeing in Canada: low savings rates, low asset-holding, high levels of
debt and growing inequality," says Shannon Rohan, author of the report
and SHARE's Director of Responsible Investment. "Investors are not
immune to the negative impacts of these trends and should be seeking
opportunities to promote deeper financial intermediation and greater
The report identifies the lack of appropriate and affordable products
and services that meet the unique financial needs of low-income and
other financially underserved groups as one reason for growing
financial exclusion in Canada.
"For financial institutions that respond effectively to this market
need, opportunities exist to build new and diversified client bases and
improve brand image," Rohan adds.
Colette Murphy, Executive Director of the Atkinson Charitable
Foundation, which sponsored the report, adds: "As an institutional
investor, the Atkinson Charitable Foundation believes that the investor
case for improving financial service provision for low-income and other
financially underserved groups is strong. It warrants a conversation
and we look forward to constructive discussions with the banks, and
other investors and stakeholders on this issue."
The report identifies opportunities for investors to promote financial
inclusion by encouraging Canada's mainstream banks to:
Commit to understanding and addressing the financial service needs of
low-income and other underserved groups;
Develop innovative products and services that meet the unique financial
needs of low-income and other financially underserved groups; and
Identify and capitalize on opportunities to improve financial service
infrastructure through new business models and delivery methods that
are more appropriate for meeting the needs of financially underserved
Download the report at: http://responsiblebanking.ca/?p=9
Responsible Banking: An investor Initiative seeks to improve financial service provision for low-income and other
financially underserved groups in Canada through constructive
shareholder engagement with Canada's banks. It is a joint initiative of
SHARE and the Atkinson Charitable Foundation. For more information
SOURCE: SHARE (The Shareholder Association for Research and Education)
For further information:
Shannon Rohan, Director, Responsible Investment, SHARE
T: +1.206.701.6656 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org