• Financial Inclusion

Financial Inclusion

Overview

Strengthening Financial Inclusion is one of the initiatives in Bank of Uganda’s Strategic Plan 2012 to 2017.  Bank of Uganda is in the process of implementing various initiatives to improve financial inclusion in Uganda as a response to financial innovations, gaps in financial education, financial consumer protection issues, opportunities in the context of financial innovations, financial deepening issues as well as issues of access and quality of financial services.

On the supply side, despite the growth of the financial sector over the last decade, access to formal financial services still remains relatively limited. This is particularly the case in rural areas, where a significant proportion of services are delivered by informal or semi-formal providers, with limited linkages to the formal financial sector. In recent years, technological innovation has begun to provide unprecedented opportunities to rapidly and sustainably advance financial inclusion. Enabling regulatory solutions are necessary to ensure that innovations can thrive in a sustainable and safe manner.

On the demand side, where people lack the skills or the information to make informed financial decisions, those people are prevented from unlocking their full economic potential and are much more vulnerable to financial shocks. This also prevents growth in the financial markets as (potential) consumers do not take up financial products or are more likely to default on their loans.    

These challenges require well-balanced and targeted responses. Without stifling innovation, Bank of Uganda aims to provide appropriate responses to these challenges – by creating an enabling environment as well as guidance and support to stakeholders engaged in the financial sector, so that financial inclusion activities can thrive.

To this end, Bank of Uganda has established the Financial Inclusion Project under the leadership of Supervision Function. The Financial Inclusion Project is built upon four pillars:

Bank of Uganda is a member of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion  and a signatory to the Maya Declaration

Some Figures on Financial Inclusion in Uganda 

Table 1: Financial Services Usage/1

  2006 (%) 2009 (%)
Financial Services Usage 57 72
    Formal 28 29
    Informal 29 43
Financial Services Usage by Location    
    Urban-formal 35 47
    Urban-informal 13 25
    Rural-formal 17 22
    Rural-informal 18 47
Banked 18 22
    Urban 30 38
    Rural 14 15

1/Percentage of the population aged 18 and above

Table 2: Financial Services Penetration/2

Year No. of Access Points Access Points per 10,000 adults  (National)
  Branches ATMs Branches ATMs Total
2008 402 405 0.28 0.27 0.55
2009 485 536 0.31 0.34 0.65
2010 497 628 0.31 0.38 0.7
2011 597 663 0.35 0.39 0.74
2012 631 748 0.36 0.42 0.79

2/Bank of Uganda Supervised Financial Institutions

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