India accounts for about a fifth of the global population without bank accounts

Thursday, April 23, 2015

India, which is home to 21 per cent of the world’s unbanked adults, faces a significant challenge in catching up with the rest of the world in universalising banking access, reveals global financial figures released recently by the World Bank.

The World Bank paper, “The Global Findex Database 2014 – Measuring Financial Inclusion around the World,” says that three countries – India, China and Indonesia – accounted for 38 per cent of the world’s unbanked adults, of which China accounts for 12 percent and Indonesia 6 per cent.

“Both China and India saw strong growth in account ownership between 2011 and 2014—in China account penetration increased from 64 percent to 79 percent, and in India from 35 percent to 53 percent. Translated into absolute numbers, this growth means that 180 million adults in China and 175 million in India became account holders—with the two countries together accounting for about half the 700 million new account holders globally,” the paper said. In comparison, 94 percent of adults had accounts in high-income OECD economies.

Here’s how India and the world fare with respect to select indicators:

Source: The Hindu (link opens in a new window)

financial inclusion, research