The Resolution Foundation paints a stark picture of rising inequality, but also points to the decade when this fell due to widening home ownership and the consequent spreading of property wealth. Yet this decade, ending in 2005, is commonly seen as the period when the early seeds of the financial crisis were sown.
Affordability has consequently become, via the Mortgage Market Review, the cornerstone of mortgage regulation, which the old FSA was given responsibility for in, you guessed it, 2005. And interest only mortgages - designed for consumers who couldn't afford a repayment one - are seen by the FCA as a potential time bomb.
However, this research points to a risk that we are on the road to significant sections of the population effectively being excluded from many mainstream financial products. If so, it must be in the interest of regulators as well as firms to find a better route to consumer protection.
However contrary to the popular perception that wealth inequality has been rising for decades, the report shows that the inequality of net financial and property wealth fell steadily between 1995 and 2005, with the Gini coefficient falling from 0.71 to 0.64.