A well-functioning financial system can serve an important goal by offering savings, borrowing, payment, and risk management products to people with a broad spectrum of needs. Inclusive financial systems can allow broad access to financial products and services, and are especially likely to benefit poor people and other disadvantaged groups. Without inclusive financial systems, poor people must rely on their own limited savings to invest in their education or become entrepreneurs, and small enterprises on their limited earnings to pursue promising growth opportunities. This, on the other hand, can contribute to persistent income inequality and lead to a sluggish economic growth.
Until now little had been known about the global reach of the financial sector, i.e., the extent to which certain segments of the population are excluded from formal financial systems. Systematic indicators of the use of different financial services had been lacking for most economies. The World Bank’s Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Survey database, in this regard, filled a significant gap by measuring how adults in 148 economies save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. The indicators are constructed with survey data from interviews with more than 150,000 nationally representative and randomly selected adults of age 15+ in those 148 economies during the 2011 calendar year.
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Patterns of Financial Access in OIC Member Countries (English)