The Keep Me Posted group have received a boost from Ian Paisley MP for North Antrim, who has backed the campaign to give consumers the right to choose, without disadvantage, how they are contacted by banks and financial service companies, utility companies, and other service providers.
The North Antrim MP sponsored a drop-in session for the campaign in parliament this week.
He met with Judith Donovan CBE, who chairs Keep Me Posted, to hear more about the campaign and to offer support. He has previously signed an Early Day Motion backing the campaign in the House of Commons.
Keep Me Posted is a partnership of more than 80 representatives from charities, interest groups and businesses including Age UK, National Consumer Federation, Salvation Army, Esther Rantzen’s Silver Line and the Institute of Consumer Affairs, who are increasingly concerned about the growing trend towards online-only bills and statements and the impact this is having on people’s ability to effectively manage their finances.
The campaign’s research has shown that people understand their finances better and make better financial decisions when they receive information on paper, rather than online. This week’s report from leading digital charity Go On UK also highlighted that in parts of the UK, one in three adults do not have the basic digital skills needed to effectively manage financial affairs online.
The UK already lags behind other countries such as Spain, France, Germany and Finland, where the right for consumers to receive free paper bills and statements is enshrined in law.
Mr Paisley said; “It is important that my constituents are able to choose how they receive important financial information from service providers including banks and utility companies. The statistics show that so many people cannot use the internet to manage their financial affairs – including 56,000 in the north coast of Northern Ireland alone – either because they don’t want to, don’t have the online skills, cannot afford computers or broadband, or find it difficult due to health conditions. These consumers should not then be penalised by having to pay to keep their paper bills and statements.”
Judith Donovan CBE, who chairs Keep Me Posted, said: “I am grateful to Ian Paisley MP for giving us the time to support the campaign today, and for fighting for the right of his constituents to have the choice of a paper bill or statement.”
Mr Paisley concluded: “It was a privilege to host this event as I believe it to be a truly worthy cause that stands up for those who are losing out and indeed losing money due to certain technological advantages, often through no fault of their own.”
You can sign up to the Keep Me Posted campaign yourself by calling 020 7566 9773, writing to Keep Me Posted, 24a St John’s Street London EC4P 4DZ or sharing your stories, preferences and experiences at www.keepmeposted.uk.com.