Consumers should have access to a choice of appropriate, value-for-money products and services. Access is the primary consumer principle. Access is particularly important when evaluating the degree of financial exclusion in a market or the consequences of forcing market solutions on consumers. The term financial exclusion was first coined in 1993 by geographers who were concerned about limited physical access to banking services as a result of bank branch closures.
1. Throughout the 1990s there was also a growing body of research relating to difficulties faced by some sections of societies in gaining access to modern payment instruments and other banking services, to consumer credit and to insurance. There was also concern about some people lacking savings of any kind. It was in 1999 that the term financial exclusion seems first to have been used in a broader sense to refer to people who have constrained access to mainstream financial services .
2. Since then, a number of commentators have added their views of how financial exclusion should be defined. These include both academics and policy makers.
The term “financial exclusion” has a broad range of both implicit and explicit definitions.