At 190 mn, India has second largest unbanked population: World Bank

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New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) About 190 million Indian adults still don’t have a bank account, second only to China, despite the account ownership more than doubling from 35 per cent in 2011 to 80 per cent in 2017, a World Bank report said on Thursday.

The Global Findex Report released on Thursday said there has been a rapid increase in financial inclusion with the number of account holders in the country having risen from 35 per cent of the adults in 2011 and 53 per cent in 2014 to 80 per cent in 2017.

It said at 80 per cent coverage, it was comparable to the number of adults in China who have an account.

However, it added, despite having a relatively high account ownership, India — along with China — claims a large share of the global unbanked population because of its sheer size.

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It said while China is home to 225 million adults without a bank account, India has 190 million. They are followed by Pakistan (100 million) and Indonesia (95 million).

“These four economies, together with three others – Nigeria, Mexico and Bangladesh – are home to nearly half the world’s unbanked population,” the report said.

However, it also noted the “dramatically increased account ownership” in India and attributed it to the Jan Dhan Yojana policy which has used biometric identification to expand access to financial services.

The report states that about 51.4 crore accounts have been opened globally from 2014 to 2017.

According to the government data, the total number of Jan Dhan account holders has risen from 28.17 crore in March 2017 to 31.44 crore in March 2018.

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The total number of current and savings accounts have risen from 122.3 crore in March 2015 to 157.1 crore in March 2017.

The report also notes the reduced gender gap in ownership by 6 per cent compared to 2014, with 83 per cent men and 77 per cent women now having an account.

–IANS

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