Major Progress in Poverty and Financial Services Access

The world’s “unbanked” population shrank by 20 percent to 2 billion adults between 2011 and 2014 as 700 million gained access to financial services, according to the World Bank, evidence of progress in its ambitious goal for universal financial access by 2020.

Over the four-year period, the percentage of adults with an account at a financial institution or mobile money service provider, grew to 62 percent from 51 percent, the World Bank’s 2014 Global Findex report published on Wednesday, showed.

“Access to financial services can serve as a bridge out of poverty…Now we have evidence that we’re making major progress,” said Jim Yong Kim, president at the World Bank.