A View on Financial Inclusion in Asian Countries

Type Working Paper - BOFIT Policy Brief
Title A View on Financial Inclusion in Asian Countries
Issue 8
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL https://helda.helsinki.fi/bof/bitstream/handle/123456789/12748/173611.pdf?sequence=1
Financial inclusion contributes to economic growth and poverty reduction. We examine financial inclusion levels in twelve Asian countries. To do so, we utilize data from the World Bank Global Findex database for 2011. We find large cross-country differences for the three main indicators of financial inclusion (ownership of a bank account, savings on a bank account, use of bank credit) and observe that ownership of a bank account is more common in high-income countries. However, the pattern of financial inclusion in terms of saving on a bank account or using formal credit differs across countries and is not related to per capita income. There are nonetheless major similarities in the motives for financial exclusion and in the alternative sources of borrowing in Asian countries. Voluntary financial exclusion is more prominent than involuntary exclusion, the main reason being lack of money. We also find that borrowing from family or friends is the most common way of obtaining credit and that relying on alternative private lenders is quite limited.

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