Thursday, June 21, 2012

Compliance costs serve as barrier to the poor

A report by the World Bank explains how compliance and KYC costs at banks are passed on to consumers, thereby excluding many of the poor from access to banking services.

Measuring Financial Inclusion: The Global Findex Database

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Leora F. Klapper
World Bank

April 2012

World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6025


This paper provides the first analysis of the Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Database, a new set of indicators that measure how adults in 148 economies save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk. The data show that 50 percent of adults worldwide have an account at a formal financial institution, though account penetration varies widely across regions, income groups and individual characteristics. In addition, 22 percent of adults report having saved at a formal financial institution in the past 12 months, and 9 percent report having taken out a new loan from a bank, credit union or microfinance institution in the past year. Although half of adults around the world remain unbanked, at least 35 percent of them report barriers to account use that might be addressed by public policy. Among the most commonly reported barriers are high cost, physical distance, and lack of proper documentation, though there are significant differences across regions and individual characteristics.

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