World Bank approves $450m for banking, financial access in Pakistan
Monday, March 20, 2017
ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has approved a package of measures worth $450 million aimed at expanding banking services and financial access in Pakistan. The ‘Finance for Growth Development Policy’ (FGDP) is a policy credit of $300 million to support the government’s efforts in promoting a more inclusive and transparent financial sector, the World Bank country office in Islamabad announced on Thursday.
The programme aims to raise financial access throughout Pakistan to 50 per cent of adults, including 25pc women by 2020.
Similarly, in the next three years, it aims to boost private sector credit access to small and medium enterprises to 15pc from 7pc in 2015. Pakistan is also among the 25 countries the World Bank group and partners are prioritising as part of the efforts to reach Universal Financial Access by 2020.
“Pakistan has made significant progress in the implementation of economic reforms”, said World Bank Country Director, Illango Patchamuthu. “However, despite the substantial progress in the initial reform programmes and recent developments in the financial sector; there remains an important unfinished reforms agenda, as financial access and inclusion remain particularly low, he said.
About 100 million adults in Pakistan don’t have access to formal and regulated financial services. This number represents about 5pc of the world’s unbanked population.