Up to 80 percent of the African continent is unbanked. Extensive rural populations, coupled with low bank penetration rates, are contributing to this lack of access to financial services. On average, there are only around three branches for every 100,000 people in Barclays’ Sub-Saharan African markets. This poses both challenges and opportunities.
To address these, Barclays has committed to the Business Call to Action to work with NGO partners CARE International UK and Plan International to enhance and expand its Banking on Change (BoC) Initiative. This will provide access to formal financial services for around 60,000 low-income people in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Tanzania by linking traditional savings-led community finance models such as Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLA) into the formal banking sector.
Through the provision of basic financial services within communities that enable people to manage their household finances, access loans and other services such as enterprise training, the BoC Initiative seeks to improve the quality of life for the poor.
Barclays’ BoC is currently in place in 11 countries in Africa, Asia, and South America working in partnership with CARE International and Plan International.