Banks’ unfairness and the vulnerability of low-income unbanked consumers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper’s objective was to explore low-income unbanked consumers’ perceptions of bank fairness and the way these perceptions were linked to consumer experiences of vulnerability. Qualitative data were used to analyse low-income consumers’ perceptions about banks’ services and communications. The study finds that although consumers’ financial inclusion is partially hindered by their personal circumstances, the perceived unfair treatment by banks has an even more negative impact on their financial inclusion. Low-income unbanked individuals report banks avoiding them, discriminating against them and impeding their financial inclusion. Banks’ perceived unfairness towards low-income consumers leads those consumers to experience vulnerability in numerous ways. Finally, we provide public policy implications for low-income consumers’ well-being and financial inclusion and to assist them in mitigating their vulnerability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-85
Number of pages20
JournalThe Service Industries Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2018


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