LGBT Financial Capability

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2016 National LGBT Conference
26 July 2016

Conference will note that there has long been a myth about the “pink pound”, which imagines lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people as living wildly hedonistic lifestyles and consuming luxury goods and services out of the reach of the rest of society. The reality is that LGBT people are far more likely to live in poverty. Even when we do not live in poverty, there is evidence that many of us live lives made stressful due to a range of issues that impede our financial capability, which the Money Advice Service defines as, “people’s ability to manage money well, both day to day and through significant life events, and their ability to handle periods of financial difficulty”.

Research into LGBT poverty indicates that we experience material disadvantage compared to our heterosexual and cis-gender peers. The factors that affect poverty in our community include: homelessness, bullying in school and other environments, poorer physical and mental health, lower incomes and social isolation in later life. These and many other factors impact upon our financial capability. OUTreach Liverpool, a community advice project run by Citizens Advice North Liverpool between 2013 and 2016 noted that a significant number of clients “struggled with financial planning and goal setting”. Outside of this and other brief observations there has been little if any major research in the United Kingdom that specifically focuses on LGBT financial capability and the best means to improve it.

Conference calls on the national LGBT committee to recognise and address LGBT financial capability needs by:

1. Continuing to support research into LGBT poverty and establishing the need for detailed, specific research into LGBT financial capability;

2. Encouraging advice agencies, LGBT community groups and services and others to specifically address the financial capability needs of the LGBT community by taking part in the Money Advice Service’s national What Works programme, which offers funding to research the most effective means to tackle the issue;

3. Calling on branch and regional LGBT groups to ensure that they engage with their branches and regions on raising awareness of both LGBT poverty and financial capability.