Financial Inclusion and Wellbeing in Australia

Financial Inclusion

More than 3.3 million people in Australia are financially excluded, unable to access safe, affordable and appropriate financial services when they need them and more than 2.4 million people are financially vulnerable (Source: CSI Financial Resilience in Australia Report)

Financial Wellbeing

FIAP Members recognise that Financial Wellbeing is Everyone's Business

Financial Wellbeing is about more than products and services, or financial literacy. We measure financial wellbeing by the ability to

  • Meet your financial obligations e.g. pay bills and expenses
  • Freely make choices that allow you to enjoy life e.g. take regular holidays
  • Control your finances e.g. avoid unnecessary fees and charges
  • Feel secure about your future obligations e.g. make choices that enable you to put away money for the future

For more information on approaches to measuring Financial Wellbeing, read more from the Melbourne Institute/CBA or ANZ  

Financial Inclusion and the Sustainable Development Goals

Financial inclusion is not an end in itself, but a means to an end, offering pathways to economic opportunities which enable people to realise their full potential. Across the globe, policymakers are also recognising that financial inclusion is a powerful engine of progress, and a catalytic tool to advance human development.

The FIAP program is grounded in a robust Theory of Change, which links actions taken by FIAP Members to the longer-term social change required to realise greater financial inclusion and resilience in Australia. By taking these actions, Trailblazers also contribute to 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 1-10 and 16-17) which are associated with reducing inequalities and promoting inclusive growth, as briefly described below. For more detail, refer to Good Shepherd Microfinance's Submission to Senate Inquiry into the Sustainable Development Goals March 2018.

Financial Inclusion and the SDGs

1. Savings help families escape poverty as they absorb financial shocks, smooth consumption, accumulate assets and invest in health and education. 6+7 Access to clean and affordable utilities including water and energy is a basic necessity; users must also be treated fairly when faced with financial hardship.
2. Farmers with access to finance produce better harvests, and are able to be more resilient to external shocks. 8+9 Lack of access to finance deepens income inequality, slows economic growth, creates poverty traps and reduces ability for SMEs to create jobs and growth.
3. Access to finance enables people to better manage medical expenses and rebound from health crises. 10+16 Income inequality creates instability and slows economic growth; access to finance helps people to get assistance when faced with crises.
4. Savings help families plan for and manage education expenses, building human capital which fuels economic growth. 17. Collaboration and collective action across multiple sectors is needed to achieve system change.
5. Financial services help women assert economic power, and have greater control over their finances such as prioritising spend on household necessities.