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What is Financial Inclusion?

Financial inclusion is defined as access to formal financial services including savings, credit, insurance and payments vis-à-vis formal financial intermediaries, at an affordable cost.

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Why is Financial Inclusion Important?

In Pakistan, since the early 1990s, consistency in economic policy coupled with robust financial sector reforms has resulted in a degree of macroeconomic stability and improved access to financial services. But despite positive developments, Pakistan’s financial sector has not yet reached sufficient breadth or depth.

Did You Know?

  • More than 17% (27 million) of Pakistan’s population live below $1 a day
  • 73% (116 million) live below $2 a day
  • Only 2% of the poor in Pakistan have access to microfinance services
  • The banking sector serves only around six million borrowers (3.6% of the population), compared to 25 million depositors (15% of the population)
  • Only around one in four Pakistani households hold bank and other accessible accounts
  • On average there is only one bank branch to serve 20,000 people
  • Only 14% of the rural population is banked whereas 67% of the total population resides in the rural areas.

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How is Financial Inclusion Being Promoted in Pakistan?

As a regulator body, SBP is deeply committed to promoting access to financial services in the sector. Besides introducing FIP, SBP has already introduced a variety of measures:

  • Tax holidays for five years newly established Microfinance Banks (MFBs)
  • Flexible regulatory regime for MFBs
  • Mobile phone-based banking services
  • Development of Islamic Banks
  • Promotion of Small Enterprises financing through products and credit scoring systems
  • Credit schemes for agricultural finance


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State Bank of Pakistan
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Phone: 111-727-111, Fax: (+92-21) 9212433 - 9212436