02 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Washington, D.C – The International Monetary Fund, IMF, has released the results of the sixth annual Financial Access Survey (FAS).
The FAS is the global supply-side source of data on access to, and use of, basic consumer financial services by resident households and non-financial corporations.
The FAS has been conducted annually since 2010 with generous financial support provided by the Netherlands, the Australian Agency for International Development, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The FAS is a global survey that provides geographic and demographic data, offering a strong quantitative underpinning to research on the link between financial inclusion and economic growth.
FAS is one of the data sources used in the recent IMF Staff Discussion Note entitled “Financial Inclusion: Can It Meet Multiple Macroeconomic Goals?,” which concluded that there is a positive link between various aspects of financial inclusion and growth, such as from better access to credit for small-and medium-sized firms; access to banking services for a wider number of households, including use of credit cards; and the use of bank accounts to receive wages. In addition to providing policy makers, researchers, regulators, and financial services providers with data on access to, and use of, basic consumer financial services worldwide, the FAS is an officially recognized data source for the Group of Twenty (G-20) Basic Set of Financial Inclusion Indicators endorsed by the G-20 Leaders at the Los Cabos Summit in June 2012.
The 2015 round had a response rate of 92 percent, with 174 reporting jurisdictions. The overall coverage of the survey indicators increased further relative to the previous round. In addition, 42 countries reported data on mobile money, compared with 35 countries earlier.
The FAS results are posted on the IMF’s FAS website (http://fas.imf.org) for public dissemination free of charge. The FAS database contains 152 time series resulting in 47 basic indicators which are grouped by geographic outreach of financial services, and use of financial services. The database currently contains annual data and metadata for 189 jurisdictions covering an eleven-year period (2004-2014).