WSBI working with their members on an international effort to increase savings accounts among the poor
WSBI is working with members in 10 different countries as a part of a global effort to double the number of savings accounts among poor people. The member banks were chosen after a multi-country competition among banks based on strong outreach to the community and existing focus on increasing access to financial services among poorer people.
In total, ten banks were chosen to participate in the programme (click here for a brochure in English version - French version - German version - Italian version - Spanish version)
- Kenya Post Office Savings Bank
- Lesotho PostBank
- PostBank Uganda
- Poste Maroc, Morocco
- BTN, Indonesia
- SONAPOST, Burkina Faso
- Sistema FEDECRÉDITO, El Salvador
- South African Post Office
- Tanzania Postal Bank
- Lien Viet PostBank
All of the banks involved are members of WSBI with broad geographical outreach within their respective countries and strong traditions of working with lesser advantaged populations.
The importance of savings
Research by the World Bank suggests that building domestic savings mobilisation helps the poor get out of poverty. Setting aside small sums in a safe place allows people to guard against risks like illness or crop failure, build assets, and provide opportunities to the next generation. Poor households with access to savings accounts and other basic financial services can manage unexpected events, invest in opportunities like education, and build financial security. Access to financial services in general is now recognised as a key condition for helping to break the chain of poverty and in supporting developing countries to achieve greater economic growth.
Pro-poor banking: easier said than done.
After a year of project-start-ups, we started to draw the first lessons (English version - French version - Spanish version).
We are now developing a series of working papers that elaborate on those initial lessons.
More background information and research on this topic can be found in the following Perspectives editions:
For a special edition of News & Views devoted to the programme, click here.
Click below for a brochure about the programme
English version - German version - Spanish version
For information in the media click here