Personal Finances
01st May 2013

Financial Inclusion Seminar For East Belfast Consumers

Over 80 representatives from East Belfast community and voluntary organisations, credit unions and the housing sector came together today (1 May) for the ‘Towards Financial Inclusion’ seminar, hosted by the Consumer Council and the Housing Rights Service.

First Minister, Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson gave a keynote address stating "it is vital that Government works innovatively with all stakeholders including business, community and voluntary sectors, housing providers and consumers to ensure we achieve growth in the economy whilst protecting the most vulnerable in our society”. The event explored the impact of financial exclusion on low income consumers, for example not having access to a bank account, insurance products or affordable credit. 

Consumer Council Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown said: “Financial exclusion has a devastating impact on consumers and the current economic downturn has hit communities like East Belfast very hard.  The First Minister's attendance today and his address reflect the importance of this event, which is about listening to consumers in local communities describe the key issues affecting them in terms of managing money and accessing financial services.  The Consumer Council will continue to  work with local politicians to represent consumers, give them a voice and access to much needed practical support during these hard times.

“The Consumer Council will ensure that consumer views heard today, and at other similar events, will be fed back to help shape Government policy and our own educational campaigns,” said Antoinette. 

Pictured from left to right are:  Housing Rights Service Chair, Andrew Hassard, Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson, First Minister and Consumer Council Chief Executive, Antoinette McKeown.

For further information please contact Keelin Kelly at the Consumer Council on 028 9067 2488 or 07799 032203 or email [email protected]