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GBA Joins World Bank Group in Commitment to Universal Financial Inclusion

Friday 17th April 2015

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The World Bank Group has identified universal financial inclusion as key to achieving the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. In 2013, the World Bank set the objective of providing this unprecedented level of financial access by 2020, noting that the achievement of this goal would be a catalyst for ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries.

Since the 2013 announcement, there has been great international momentum to mobilize private and public sector commitments toward this objective. Now the Global Banking Alliance for Women is joining this movement, committing to provide financial access to 1.8 million previously unbanked women in Latin America and Africa by 2020. The GBA’s commitment was announced April 17, 2015, at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. Read the full commitment below:

Financial access can provide a number of opportunities for women in developing countries, including increases in income and business growth, reduction of risk and smoothing of consumption, and overall economic empowerment. There is still a significant gender gap in accessto financial services for women. According to Findex, although the number of adults with bank accounts increased by 11 percentage points between 2011 and 2014, the gender gap in account ownership is not narrowing. Women are still 12% less likely than men to have an account at a formal financial institution. In addition to an access gap, there is also a service gap for women: according to a BCG study, 73% of women globally in 2008 reported being unsatisfied with banking services. Commercial banks play a vital role in women’s economic development, and the Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) and its members believe that a more holistic approach is needed to reach previously unbanked women. We enthusiastically support the World Bank Group’s goals to achieve Universal Financial Access by 2020, and commit, with a sub-set of our members, to providing financial access to 1.8 million previously unbanked women customers in Latin America and Africa by 2020.

Read the full press release here.