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Banking on Change, Barclays

Today, more than 2 billion people are considered financially excluded meaning they have no access to formal financial services.  Yet having access to basic services such as savings, bank accounts or credit can transform the lives of those living in the poorest communities, especially young people and women, reducing poverty, increasing social equality and giving them the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

Plan International UK has been working with Barclays and CARE International since 2009, as part of the award-winning Banking on Change partnership with the aim to break the barriers to financial inclusion.

The partnership aims to improve the quality of life of the world’s poorest people living on less than US$2 a day through a savings-led, rather than credit-led, approach to microfinance.  It combines the expertise of each partner to give people the opportunity and skills to save and manage their money more effectively and access to basic financial services through informal savings groups. The programme runs in 7 countries: Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Banking on Change is the first partnership between a global bank and international NGOs to successfully link informal savings groups to formal savings accounts through the development of financial products specifically adapted to meet their needs.

Since 2009, it’s reached over 700,000 people with access to financial services, including over 245,000 youth. At the end of 2014, Banking on Change savings groups had a balance of $12 million, allowing members to increase their investments in income-generating activities, educational expenses and healthcare.

Banking on Change has already made a tangible, lasting difference to the lives of people across the developing world...

“Extending formal banking services to the world’s poorest communities delivers social, business, and wider economic benefits. Banking on Change has already made a tangible, lasting difference to the lives of people across the developing world, while enabling us to sustainably grow our business and reach new customers. However, we can’t tackle global financial exclusion alone. That’s why we’re encouraging further collaboration between corporates, governments and civil society to bring savings-led microfinance to scale.” Diane Eshleman, Global Head of Citizenship & Reputation, Barclays.

Read more about this partnership on the Banking on Change website.    

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