Photo credit: CARE/Victoria Love
Banking on Change
Banking on Change is a partnership between Plan UK, CARE International UK and Barclays that aims to help around 400,000 people in 11 countries by developing access to basic financial services.
Today, more than 2.5 billion adults in the developing world are considered ‘financially excluded’. This means that they do not have access to basic financial services, such as savings, bank accounts, or credit.
Banking on Change is a partnership between Plan UK , CARE International UK and Barclays. It brings together the independent interests and expertise of each partner to improve the quality of life for around 400,000 people in 11 countries, by extending and developing access to basic financial services.
Banking on Change projects operate in Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia. Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia. Visit the links on this page to find out more about our Citizenship programmes in these countries.
Over three years, Banking on Change aims to provide communities with the opportunity and skills to save and manage their money more effectively.
The programme focuses on savings-led microfinance. It supports the establishment of savings groups such as Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) in poor communities.
Members of these groups can start saving with the smallest amount agreed by the group, and as they collectively save, they accumulate funds from which they can borrow small amounts at a reasonable rate of interest as agreed by members.
Regular savings enable group members to manage their household finances, making them more resilient to financial emergencies, and able to invest in small-scale enterprises or secure small loans.
For those communities who effectively and consistently save, the VSLAs will be given opportunities to link with formal banking systems and accessible financial products, enabling them to be self-sufficient. This is being piloted in Uganda, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
As at 30 September 2012, Banking on Change has:
- provided basic financial services to more than 513,000 of the world’s most disadvantaged people since its launch in 2009
- helped form more than 25,000 savings groups in the 11 countries in which it operates
- launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2009, the programme will run in the majority of countries to October 2012.
Banking on Change: breaking barriers to financial inclusion
A new Banking on Change report examines the barriers to financial inclusion in developing countries.
The study identifies five recommendations to break barriers to financial inclusion, and also describes the potential boost to the global economy that large-scale financial inclusion represents.
The five recommendations:
- Ensure financial inclusion is part of the new UN Development framework
- Recognise group banking as a springboard to financial inclusion
- Build bridges between informal and formal financial sectors
- Invest in, and expand access to, financial literacy
- Develop strong checks and balances to protect poor and vulnerable people
A film on removing the barriers to financial inclusion
British newscaster and CARE ambassador Alastair Stewart visited the town of Iganga in eastern Uganda in July 2012, where he learned about one of the Village Savings and Loans Associations set up as part of the Banking on Change programme. Alastair investigated how the association has linked itself to a local Barclays branch and the ways in which two of the participants have improved their lives through saving.