Financial exclusion in Spain

Access to finance through bank accounts and other financial services is essential for citizens’ economic and social participation.  In this sense, retail banking is a foundational infrastructure. Yet instead of ensuring this basic functionality, banks’ actions to defend profitability have had deleterious effects on their customers, increasing the financial exclusion of vulnerable consumers. The Spanish research group (FINRES) lead by Marta de la Cuesta (UNED), part of the Foundational Economy Collective has recently published a paper on this problem in the Geoforum journal. In this paper, the authors consider financial inclusion as the sustainable provision of financial services and products and their adjustment to individual needs. They adopt a financial ecology approach and propose a comprehensive framework to analyse the different types of difficulties that vulnerable financial consumers face in their relationship with banking institutions, as well as their underlying causes.

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