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Why

Having access to everyday financial products and services, such a day-to-day transaction account is an essential part of being independent and being able to participate fully in the community. However, existing research has found that there are low rates of banking service usage among young autistic youth, which indicates low levels of financial independence. Research also shows that autistic youth feel concerned about their lack of financial management skills and saw this as a barrier to achieving independence. Other factors that may influence financial independence include employment situation, income level, experiences of financial exploitations or scams, and having a mental health condition.

One practical way to improve people’s financial independence is to improve the products and services provided by banks and financial institutions. So finding out what banks and financial institutions can do to help make their products and services more accessible is an important step towards further inclusivity and financial independence for autistic people.

What are the barriers to and enablers of financial services usage for adults on the spectrum? What can banks and financial institutions do to ensure their products and services are autism-friendly?

The research

The aim of this research is gain a better understanding of the financial and banking experiences of autistic adults. Topics that this study will examine include:

  • What is the reported financial wellbeing of a sample of autistic adults living in Australia?
  • What types of financial services are used by autistic adults living in Australia?
  • What makes it easier and what makes it more difficult for autistic adults living in Australia to access financial services?
  • How satisfied are autistic adults living in Australia with the services provided by financial and banking institutions?
  • What constitutes an autism-friendly banking experience?

Making a difference

The findings of this research will help banks and other financial institutions to create a more inclusive customer experience for autistic people.

The findings of this research will be used to inform the design and development of financial support programs. Recommendations will also be made to help banks and other financial institutions to create a more inclusive customer experience for autistic people.

Aspect research team

Vicki Gibbs, Manager Research & Assessments, ARCAP (Lead researcher)

Kaaren Haas, Senior Research Officer, ARCAP

Ru Ying Cai, Postdoctoral researcher, ARCAP (Project leader)

Emma Gallagher, Research Assistant, ARCAP (Co-production advisor)

Started

July 2019

Ends

2020

Funding

Beyond Bank Australia

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