Survey shows 61pc Nepali adults financially included

Kathmandu, August 13

A recently conducted demand side survey of financial inclusion has revealed that 61 per cent of Nepali adults are formally financially included, 57 per cent of them claim to save and 45 per cent have been receiving credit facility.

The survey conducted by FinScope — an initiative of UK aid funded FinMark Trust — has said that 18 per cent adult population is totally excluded from financial services. Conducted in late 2014, the survey had taken a sample of 4,014 people in Nepal, aged 18 years and above, across 70 districts covering high-hill, mid-hill and tarai areas. The survey has also revealed that men have more access to finance than women.

As per the survey, 40 per cent of the adults have been receiving service from banks and financial institutions and the rest of the financially included people are covered by financial intermediaries, co-operatives and other formal channels.

The survey was conducted to know about the impact of the United Nations Capital Development Programme’s Making Access to Finance Possible (MAP) programme in the country. The survey has also summarised the supply and regulatory environment about the drivers and barriers to increase financial services in Nepal.

In the launching ceremony of the survey findings, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat stressed on the importance of penetration of banks and financial institutions in rural areas to deliver financial services.

Likewise, National Planning Commission Vice Chairman Govinda Raj Pokharel highlighted the need of technology intensive products from financial institutions so that financial services can be delivered at a low cost and in an efficient manner to the rural poor. He said that the mobile banking and agent-based system that was initiated by national level banks recently is a proven example of how financial services can be delivered at the rural level.

In the programme, Nepal Rastra Bank Governor Chiranjibi Nepal sought strong coordination mechanism among banking, insurance and non-banking financial institutions along with private sector players to achieve universal financial access goals. He also said that the central bank, in coordination with the government, has already introduced a raft of policy measures to ensure reliable and affordable financial services to the poor in the country.