This GFDR report seeks to contribute to the evolving debate on financial inclusion. It follows the inaugural 2013 Global Financial Development Report, which re-examined the state’s role in finance following the global financial crisis. Both reports seek to avoid
simplistic views, and instead take a nuanced approach to financial sector policy based on a synthesis of new evidence. Financial inclusion has moved up the global reform agenda and become a topic of great interest for policy makers, regulators, researchers, market practitioners, and other stakeholders. For the World Bank Group, financial inclusion represents a core topic, given its implications for reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
The increased emphasis on financial inclusion reflects a growing realization of its potentially transformative power to accelerate development gains. Inclusive financial systems provide individuals and firms with greater access to resources to meet their financial
needs, such as saving for retirement, investing in education, capitalizing on business opportunities, and confronting shocks. Real world financial systems are far from inclusive.