Responsible Finance Forum

Global Microscope 2014: The Enabling Environment for Financial Inclusion

Economist Intelligence Unit
01 November 2014
Source:  Development Bank of Latin America
 Inter-American Development Bank
 Center for Financial Inclusion/ACCION
 Citi Microfinance
 FOMIN Multilateral Investment Fund

Evaluating the regulatory landscape for financial inclusion across 55 countries

This report provides an in-depth analysis of the financial inclusion environment across 12 indicators in 55 countries. It is directed toward practitioners, policymakers, and investors, to help evaluate these countries’ progress in financial inclusion, and to establish where further efforts should focus in order to yield additional benefits. The report assesses financial inclusion based on four criteria: the range of financial products and services offered, the diversity of institutions offering them, the array of delivery methods, and the institutional support that ensures the safe provision of services to low-income populations. Key findings of the report include:

  • Countries with favorable business environments for microfinance tend to have favorable conditions for financial inclusion;
  • Peru, Colombia, and the Philippines demonstrate the most conducive environment for financial inclusion;
  • Governments must make progress in establishing and implementing comprehensive strategies for financial inclusion;
  • Most countries have adopted regulatory frameworks for agents;
  • East and South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are leaders in the area of regulations of electronic payments but with low regional averages;
  • Microinsurance leaders are concentrated in Latin America and East and South Asia;
  • Countries on the bottom of the index perform poorly on measures of institutional support for financial inclusion.