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WSBI makes further progress on UFA 2020 pledge

WSBI makes further progress on UFA 2020 pledge

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​WSBI figures in-line with World Bank Findex data showing financial inclusion 'on the rise' globally.

>> Learn more: WSBI's commitment to UFA 2020

>> Read: FINDEX press release

>> See: UFA 2020 (off-site)




BRUSSELS, 24 April 2018 – WSBI progress towards reaching its UFA2020 commitment took a further leap in 2017, the global association of savings and retail banks said today.

Latest available data compiled by the Brussels-based institute point to 234 million new clients as of 31 December 2017 from the UFA commitment starting point set at year-end 2014. That means WSBI's some 100 members had 1.674 billion clients as of year-end 2017. Relatedly, the number of new transaction accounts provided by WSBI through 2017 stood at 2.457 billion, up 342 million based on the end-of-2014 level.

Commenting on the progress made, WSBI President Heinrich Haasis said: "It's another strong result from WSBI members who serve customers in close to 80 countries. They have nearly met in 2017 their UFA 2020 goal of 1.7 billion customers and 400 million new transaction accounts, which was foreseen to be reached by the end of 2020."

New Findex report shows global financial inclusion progress

The news comes as the World Bank Group updated last week its FINDEX report, which showed financial inclusion is on the rise globally, accelerated by mobile phones and the internet. An estimated 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked, down from 2 billion in 2014. Nearly half of the world's “unbanked" live in seven developing economies: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and Pakistan. The FINDEX data show that 56% of all unbanked adults are women and that half of unbanked adults come from the poorest 40 percent of households within their economy, the other half from the richest 60 percent. The data is being presented at this week's IMF-World Bank Spring meetings in Washington.

A closer look at WSBI data

The 2017 year-end update showed a slightly faster growth rate on the client and account fronts as compared with WSBI data released in 2016 and 2015. That's good news, as progress made for the 2015 and 2016 time periods had already exceeded UFA 2020 commitment projections both in terms of total numbers of customers as well as transaction accounts.

WSBI in 2016 announced 136 million new clients were signed up as of 31 December of that year from the UFA commitment 2014 year-end starting point. WSBI members, had 1.57 billion clients as of year-end 2016. Relatedly, the number of new transaction accounts provided by WSBI through 2016, stood at 2.35 billion, up 236 million based on the end-of-2014 benchmark. In 2015, WSBI reported that clients reached by its members was 1.55 billion, while transaction accounts reached 2.33 billion for year-end 2015.

Haasis concluded: "Progress by WSBI members has accelerated in 2017 compared with the past three reporting periods. Our overall progress is in-line with the FINDEX data update. Like that data, WSBI data and anecdotal research gathered show innovation and digitisation are forces driving efforts to tackle the financial inclusion challenge. Banking breakthroughs on the digital front go beyond sign-up of new clients and accounts, but also can boost chances that people actually use the accounts."

About the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI)

WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in close to 80 countries. WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalization that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. 

 

>> Learn more: WSBI's commitment to UFA 2020

>> Read: FINDEX press release

>> See: UFA 2020 (off-site)


Financial inclusion; Innovation; Innovation Hub