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Campaign launch promotes rural financial inclusion

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The Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) launched the ‘Quids In’ campaign today, in an effort to create greater awareness of the financial services needs of rural people. The CRC will implement a promotional campaign in rural areas and has planned a good practice exchange event for April 2008 to explore solutions to financial inclusion issues facing such areas.

According to research carried out by the CRC last year, around one-in-eight banks and building societies are in rural areas, despite the fact one-in-five people live there. Those living in rural areas also have access to under a tenth of cashpoints, with only 45% free to use, compared to 60% in urban areas. Of those that live in rural areas, 300,000 do not have a bank account and 22% of rural households live in poverty.

Graham Russell, director of practice at the CRC said: “In terms of access to financial services, no one should be disadvantaged by where they live.

“We are now calling on the private sector to engage more extensively with rural communities and support and encourage future initiatives; government to help promote the value of community-based initiatives and how they can be applied and supported elsewhere; and communities themselves, to come forward with further examples of successful locally-developed solutions so these can be shared more widely.”

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