Financial citizenship: building financial security, capability and inclusion in communities


Coventry University




Dr Lindsey Appleyard (CBiS)

Shaun French (University of Nottingham)

The project will explore the concept of ‘financial citizenship’ and the extent to which credit unions are able to secure financial inclusion, financial capability and financial security of their members. This is because individuals are increasingly responsible for their own financial security as the state is shifting further away from providing a universal welfare ‘safety net’.

The research will take place over the next 12 months and will involve interviews with credit unions, a workshop to disseminate findings and a policy briefing paper as well as academic outputs.


The key aim of this proposal is to test the operability of the concept of ‘financial citizenship’ (Leyshon and Thrift, 1995) by undertaking pilot empirical research with UK credit unions.

Given the increasing interest in individual financial responsibility, this research will make a significant contribution towards policymaking by investigating the extent to which credit unions are enhancing the financial security, capability and inclusion of households and communities.

The research will draw on the evidence gathered to make appropriate policy recommendations to benefit financially excluded groups, the credit union movement and the broader financial sector to build financial security amongst the community.


The expected outputs are:

  • A journal paper in Environment and Planning A (3/4*, Impact factor 2.29),
  • An article for the Conversation and The Guardian, and financial press (e.g. Money Marketing) and a press release,
  • A research workshop will be held in London with key stakeholders including financial institutions and related trade associations (e.g. credit unions, ABCUL), debt advice services (e.g. Stepchange), regulators (e.g. FCA), government departments (e.g. DWP), and advocacy and policy organisations (e.g. Toynbee Hall), 
  • An end of project policy briefing paper will be disseminated to participants, and follow-up meetings will also be held to encourage and facilitate changes in the practices and behaviour’s of key stakeholders.
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