Independent report

Banking on women: an action plan to open up access to finance for women

This report of a review commissioned by the Deputy Prime Minister looks at how women's access to finance affects their economic opportunities.

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This report sets out how women who have been put off applying for a business loan or mortgage because they believe they will be treated unfairly will receive more support to access these financial products.

This plan follows a review commissioned by the Deputy Prime Minister which found no evidence that UK lenders discriminate against women when it came to applying for business loans or mortgages, but concluded that women may be put off applying for a business loan or mortgage because of misconceptions.

The government has now joined forces with the banking industry to devise the action plan focused on giving women the support and confidence to ask for the financial help they need, by providing:

  • greater transparency – through the production of independent research on business lending broken down by gender to reassure women that lending is done in a non-discriminatory way and to track trends and on-going support needs
  • more targeted and tailored information – so that women in business, or women who are pregnant or on maternity leave, can make the right choices
  • increased collaboration between government, bank and trade associations – to help raise awareness of the choices available to women and reassure them that lenders are committed to treating them fairly
  • inclusivity – ensuring gender equality is embedded into everyday business practice