AGENCY team members participate in the FCA Financial Inclusion TechSprint

On the 30th of May, 5 of our AGENCY team took part in the Demo Day to conclude the FCA Financial Inclusion TechSprint in Glasgow. The TechSprint ran from 7th March to 30th May 2024. This initiative was aimed at leveraging technological solutions to foster financial inclusion, a critical step towards a more equitable financial landscape. The team worked to create Poli, an AI-powered tool that helps users navigate Terms & Conditions (T&Cs).

FCA Financial Inclusion TechSprint

Exclusion from financial services has a direct impact on people’s lives. It can leave them unable to make and receive payments or deny them access to appropriate credit or insurance products which provide financial resilience. Exclusion not only hampers personal financial stability but also impedes overall growth, acting as a potential barrier to secure employment. Moreover, long-term trends in employment, wages and interest rates also contribute to varying levels of financial exclusion.

There is a significant opportunity for technology to drive the solution to some of these issues. Developments in digital ID, mobile banking and payments, and the use of AI offer possibilities to make financial services available to more people. They can also help firms not only comply with their obligations under the Consumer Duty but to develop best practice for themselves. We should be imaginative in creating incentives to provide services to under-served groups. This TechSprint is part of that creative process.

The TechSprint had 3 problem statements, the AGENCY team chose to contribute to Problem statement 1: What technological solutions can help to increase the probability of consumers being accepted when they apply for everyday financial services, such as basic bank accounts, credit or insurance products?

The team worked to create Poli, an AI-powered tool that helps users navigate Terms & Conditions (T&Cs).

Project Summary

Consumer Research from the FCA (2015, 2021) shows that financial exclusion occurs when consumers lack the ability and confidence to perform basic online banking or search for financial products and information. Our tool, Poli, supports consumers who struggle to make informed financial decisions due to complex Terms & Conditions (T&Cs). Those with low confidence, limited digital literacy, vulnerabilities, or limited English proficiency often find T&Cs overwhelming, hindering their ability to provide informed consent. Poli addresses this by breaking down complex terms into clear, easy-to-understand language and providing visual aids. This empowers users to confidently choose financial products or services that best meet their needs, promoting financial inclusion.

The Innovation

Poli leverages AI to simplify T&Cs, equipping users with the knowledge and confidence to engage with terms and select appropriate financial products. Key features include:

  • Visual Navigator: Presents T&Cs in a visual format, allowing users to quickly review and navigate specific sections.
  • Highlighted Connections: Links relevant sections to address common issues in AI summarization, ensuring coherent and comprehensive understanding.
  • Multilingual Translation: Provides T&Cs in various languages to enhance comprehension.

The Benefits

Poli revolutionizes the accessibility of complex financial and legal documents, making them clear and understandable for everyone. Key benefits include:

  • Enhanced Clarity: Simplifies complex financial and legal documents, ensuring they are easy to comprehend and that consumers have the agency provide informed consent.
  • Support for Vulnerable Consumers: Assists neurodiverse individuals in understanding intricate information and offers accessibility features for those with visual impairments.
  • Financial Empowerment: Promotes financial literacy by equipping users with the knowledge to select appropriate financial services.

Data Used

Terms and Conditions of bank accounts.

The Team

Maxim Kolomeets

Research Associate

Becca Owens


Jehana Copilah-Ali

Research Associate

David Lam

Research Software Engineer

Han Wu

Research Associate

Special thanks to our collaborators

  • Rebecca Evans, FCA
  • Sarah-Jayne Dunn, Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Chris and Leia , Mind and Money Health
  • Colin Tancock, HSBC
  • Laura and JB, Fair4finance
  • Kirsty Good, Brunswick Group
  • Diane Webb, Pheonix Group
  • Ghela Boskovich, FDTA
  • Nick and Maddie, ICO
  • Lauren Cassells, FCA

More information on the techsprint can be found here.