Financial inclusion and central banks

David Bholat, Julia Kowalski and Simon Milward.

Financial inclusion means every adult having access to fair and affordable savings, transactional banking, credit and insurance. It also requires consumers of financial services to be literate around their use. Whilst this sounds unobjectionably positive, expanding access to financial products can create new risks for financial institutions, financial stability and the financially excluded themselves. Policymakers around the world are grappling with how to balance financial stability with the broader goal of financial inclusion, and have responded in different ways. We believe central banks both in developed and developing countries can play a valuable role in promoting financial inclusion and that they need to consider financial inclusion if they are to promote the good of all the people they serve.

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