Financial Inclusion is a powerful tool for inclusive growth in countries, which empowers families and individuals to access the financial system. It aids to cultivate opportunities for enhanced socio-economic outcomes and allows individuals to better integrate into the economy and improve their livelihoods. SBP, being the apex policy & regulatory body has been striving to promote Access to Financial Services to achieve policy inclusiveness – a prerequisite for wider distribution of economic growth across all regions and segments of the population.

In pursuit of this objective, SBP has been driving ‘Financial Inclusion’ as a strategic goal through a three-pronged approach, which covers agile & innovative regulations, development of market information & infrastructure and capacity building of providers & clients. Recognizing the gaps leading to persistent financial exclusion, SBP, in partnership with Government of Pakistan launched a comprehensive National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) in 2015, which lays down sound foundations and goals for financial inclusion until 2020. The stated vision for financial inclusion in Pakistan is “individuals and firms can access and use a range of quality payments, savings, credit and insurance services which meet their needs with dignity and fairness.” The strategy sets out the goal of reaching 50% adults with formal financial accounts, up from 16% in 2015. Moreover, it aims to increase bank account ownership of adult women from 11% in 2015, to 25% by 2020, while gender is a cross cutting theme for all sectors adopted under NFIS. The NFIS covers priority areas such as Branchless Banking (BB), Digital Payment Systems, Agri. & MSME Finance, Housing Finance, Islamic Finance, Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy, Insurance and Pensions etc.

The goal of creating an inclusive financial system is challenging, but SBP aims to remain committed towards championing it and increasing access of financial services for the underserved segments of the country, to  help build a strong and prosperous Pakistan.

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