Financial Inclusion Pakistan Country Paper

Financial Inclusion Pakistan Country Paper

 
Date: 
Monday, March 28, 2016
Abstract

Access to a well-functioning financial system empowers individuals, in particular poor people, allowing
them to better integrate into the economy, actively contribute to improving their livelihoods and protect
themselves against economic shocks. In addition, financial services provide budding entrepreneurs with
the opportunity to create jobs for others in the community to earn livelihoods as well. Therefore, creation
and expansion of financial services targeted towards poor and low-income populations, has become a
key policy priority for Pakistan to promote inclusive economic growth.
The United Nations newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework also recognizes
the importance of promoting financial inclusion as a key enabler for attaining the SDGs. There are more
than 2 billion people worldwide who lack access to basic financial services, like savings accounts, loans
or insurance products. Globally, 25 countries have been identified as priority countries including
Pakistan. Pakistan accounts for 5.2% of the world’s unbanked population.
State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) being the apex policy & regulatory body has been striving to promote
access to formal financial services for achieving policy inclusiveness which is a prerequisite for wider
distribution of the economic growth across all regions and segments of the population. In pursuit of this
objective, SBP has been driving ‘Financial Inclusion’ as a strategic goal through a three pronged
approach, which covers agile & innovative regulations, development of market information &
infrastructure and capacity building of providers & clients.
Pakistan developed and launched its National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in May 2015. The goal
of the NFIS is to enhance formal financial access to 50 percent of the adult population by 2020. The
NFIS lays out the vision, framework, action plan, and target outcomes for financial inclusion. Financial
inclusion is a strategic goal for SBP and the country has recently made great strides to prioritize
improvement of access to finance. This paper presents Pakistan’s progress on financial inclusion and
shares its future plans towards achieving universal financial inclusion in the country.

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