WASHINGTON, July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor today released the Financial Access 2012: Getting to a More Comprehensive Picture report, which assesses the state of financial inclusion globally. The report is based on data from the International Monetary Fund's Financial Access Survey, a survey of financial regulators in 187 jurisdictions that covers access to deposits, loans, and insurance by households and enterprises.
"With 75 percent of the world's poor still having no access to formal financial services, the international momentum among policymakers to expand access to financial services to households and enterprises remains strong," said Peer Stein, Director of IFC's Access to Finance Advisory Services. "This annual report offers invaluable insight on the links between financial inclusion and economic development, helping shape policy debate."
Financial Access 2012 shows a clear—albeit still nascent—recovery from the financial crisis, with both growth rates of deposit and loan penetration picking up strongly in 2011. The growth rate of deposit accounts was higher than the growth rate of loan accounts, suggesting that after the crisis, people's willingness to save may have been greater than their willingness to take on new loans.
The number of bank branches and automatic teller machines has increased rapidly since 2004, which has in turn deepened access to commercial banking services worldwide. The world as a whole had 47 ATMs and 17 commercial bank branches per 100,000 adults in 2011.
Data also show that higher-income countries tend to have more developed finance markets for small and medium enterprises than developing countries. In low-income countries, only a small percentage of enterprise loan accounts are held by SMEs.
Tilman Ehrbeck, CEO and Director of CGAP, said: "2012 was a milestone year for financial inclusion data. Thanks to IMF's FAS and the World Bank's Global Findex, we have the most extensive supply- and-demand-side data available to date on a global scale. And the better the data, the more purposeful and evidence-based policymaking can be."
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world's most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor works toward a world in which everyone has access to the financial services they need to improve their lives.
CGAP develops innovative solutions for financial inclusion through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy makers, and funders. Established in 1995 and housed at the World Bank, CGAP combines a pragmatic approach to market development with an evidence-based advocacy platform to advance poor people's access to finance. For more information, visit www.cgap.org.