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Migrants and their money

Migrants and their money: Surviving financial exclusion

Kavita Datta
Copyright Date: 2012
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  • Book Info
    Migrants and their money
    Book Description:

    This original and topical book tells the untold stories of migrants' experiences of, and responses to, financial exclusion in London. Breaking important new ground, it offers an insight into migrants' lives which is often overlooked, yet is increasingly vital for their broader integration into advanced financialised societies. Adopting a holistic focus, Migrants and their Money investigates migrants' complex financial lives which extend far beyond remittance sending, exploring their banking, saving, credit and debt related practices. It highlights how migrants negotiate the complex financial landscape they encounter and the diverse formal and informal ways in which they manage their money in the financial capital of the world. Drawing upon a rich evidence base, this book will be of particular interest to academics, local authorities, policy makers and the financial services industry.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-844-8
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of tables, figures and photos
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. List of abbreviations and acronyms
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. ONE Migrants, money and exclusion
    (pp. 1-26)

    This book explores migrant men and women’s experiences of, and responses to, financial exclusion in London, offering an insight into an aspect of migrants’ lives that is often overlooked yet vital for their broader integration. It documents the changing spatial and temporal geographies of financial exclusion in advanced economies such as the UK that are increasingly characterised as finance-led. Drawing on primary empirical research with over 400 migrants, it investigates how men and women from five diverse communities originating in the global South (Brazil and Somalia) and East and Central Europe (Turkey, Poland and Bulgaria), negotiate the complex socioeconomic landscape...

  7. TWO Changing financial landscapes: public policy responses to financial exclusion in the UK
    (pp. 27-54)

    Financialinclusion entered the realm of public policy in the aftermath of New Labour’s electoral victory in 1997, assuming particular importance in the early 2000s. Coming back to power after 14 years in opposition, and inheriting ‘levels of poverty and inequality unprecedented in post war history’, the ‘renewal’ of British society structured around an eradication of social exclusion featured prominently in the incoming government’s rhetoric (Stewart and Hills, 2005: 1). Importantly, from a public policy perspective, financial inclusion was identified as one potential mechanism for stitching back a divided society. In part, this reflected an emerging consensus that as one...

  8. THREE Mapping migrants’ financial lives in London
    (pp. 55-88)

    Having outlined the broad contours of financialisation, transnational migration and financial exclusion, and public policy responses to these, this chapter provides a first detailed insight into the formal financial practices of migrant men and women drawn from the Brazilian, Bulgarian, Polish, Turkish and Somali communities in London. With varying levels of resources at their disposal, migrant lives are initially played out on the fringes of formal circuits, which different men and women are able to maintain for different lengths of time. Yet, given the financialisation of the British economy which renders living on the margins increasingly difficult, the majority have...

  9. FOUR Strategising for banking inclusion
    (pp. 89-116)

    Despite interventions that have sought to simplify and speed up the process of financial and particularly banking inclusion, many migrants face considerable difficulties in accessing these services, which is attributable to a number of interrelated factors. For a start, the majority of migrants are both unfamiliar with the financial landscape that they encounter in London as well as the particular importance of banking access in negotiating everyday life in the city. While difficulties in both understanding English as well as making themselves understood present further obstacles, undoubtedly the main challenge that some men and women face relates to their immigration...

  10. FIVE Coping with savings and credit exclusion: alternative practices of reciprocity and trust
    (pp. 117-140)

    There is growing academic consensus that financially excluded households engage in diverse money management practices, thus contradicting a perception that they do not or cannot save or draw credit, and that they progress from informal to formal financial practices (Leyshon and Thrift, 1995; Matin et al 2002; Collins, 2005). Detailed investigations of household economies reveal the management of money outside or alongside formal banking systems through the development of ‘mix and match’ financial practices (Rutherford, 2002). These ‘diverse’, ‘informal’ and ‘alternative’ practices, as they are variously labelled, entail saving and borrowing from a range of sources and are premised upon...

  11. SIX Transnational money: the formalisation of migrant remittances
    (pp. 141-172)

    One aspect of migrants’ financial lives that has captured a great deal of academic and public policy attention is remittances – or more specifically financial remittances¹ – which migrant men and women send to their home countries. Importantly, for a number of migrants these transfers represent a first personal interaction with the global economy as they engage with financial services that offer international payments (Toxopeus and Lensink, 2007). Once viewed as a graphic indicator of the failure of development, migration is now conceptualised as being a potential contributor, or indeed, panacea for development, with labour emerging as the most valuable export commodity...

  12. SEVEN Looking forward: from exclusion to inclusion and back?
    (pp. 173-184)

    In bringing the book to a close, this concluding chapter summarises the main findings of the research underpinningMigrants and their moneybefore considering its wider implications. Thus far, the book has detailed the dominance of finance in the UK, which is the outcome of extensive neoliberal restructuring of the British economy and state. These processes of financialisation have been accompanied by, and shaped the nature and scope of, financial exclusion, as particular peoples and places have been pushed to the fringes of financial circuits because of a complex intersection of marginality. Furthermore, given the penetration of finance into all...

  13. APPENDIX: Methodological note
    (pp. 185-188)
  14. References
    (pp. 189-222)
  15. Index
    (pp. 223-230)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 231-231)