New Delhi, India, March 15, 2011—A
new report from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, shows that increasing
microsavings is critical to improving access to financial services for
low-income clients in India.
The report, Deposit Assessment in
India, commissioned by IFC with support from the Netherlands, shows
in detail the supply and demand side of microsavings options for poor people
in India, where only microcredit is prevalent. It also highlights regulatory
and operational challenges and opportunities for financial institutions
and mobile banking platforms that want to serve the low-income market.
An estimated 2.7 billion people lack
access to basic formal financial services, including savings accounts,
and South Asia has the largest share, 22 percent, of all unbanked people.
“We hope this ground-breaking study
will give banks and microfinance institutions new information to help them
diversify financial services for low-income households. Based on
the findings, IFC is identifying partner banks and microfinance institutions
to help expand their reach and offerings and increase financial inclusion
across South Asia,” said Jennifer Isern, Head of IFC’s Access to Finance
Advisory Program in South Asia.
“This report is the first comprehensive
assessment of savings in India, and it provides exciting and actionable
insights for policymakers, bankers, donor agencies, and others committed
to financial inclusion,” said Graham Wright, MicroSave’s Director for
Tackling financial inclusion in developing
countries is a strategic priority for IFC. Recent developments in
the financial sector demonstrate that diversifying products to include
deposits, remittances, and insurance is increasingly important to clients
and critical to improve their lives.
To learn more about IFC’s Global Microfinance
Program and to read the full Deposits Assessments in India report,
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to
escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic
growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development,
mobilizing capital for private enterprise, and providing advisory and risk
mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $18 billion in fiscal 2010, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit wsww.ifc.org.