Access to Financial Services as a Driver for the Post-2015 Development Agenda

14 September 2015

Effective use and access of available, affordable, convenient, quality, and sustainable financial services contributes to poverty reduction and economic and social development, say UNCTAD in a new Policy Brief.

Financial inclusion - the effective access to and use of available, affordable, convenient, quality and sustainable financial services - central to poverty reduction and to inclusive and sustainable development, is an enabler of the post-2015 development agenda. Still, many remained without a bank account in 2014.

This Policy Brief aims to highlight several components of a best-fit policy mix to expand financial inclusion.

Key points:

  • New technologies and innovative business models have great potential to overcome access barriers.

  • Governments have a central role in the policy mix - including macroeconomic, trade, industrial and other policies - and regulatory framework to extend supply and affordability of services, and to expand demand for financial services, towards financial inclusion in support of the real economy.

  • Actions towards financial inclusion could contribute to facilitated, speedier, safer and less costly transfer of remittances, the importance of which is also recognized within the sustainable development goals (SDGs).