IMF Releases 2011 Financial Access Survey DataPress Release No. 11/274
July 11, 2011
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released the results of the second annual Financial Access Survey (FAS) through the online FAS database. The FAS database is available to the public and provides financial access indicators and accompanying metadata developed through the Access to Finance Project with initial financial support from the government of the Netherlands.
The Project was unveiled at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Istanbul in October 2009 (see Press Release No. 09/351) and the results from the inaugural FAS were released in the online database in June 2010.
The FAS database disseminates key indicators of geographic and demographic outreach of financial services, as well as the underlying data. The reach of financial services is measured by bank branch network, availability of automated teller machines, and by three key financial instruments: deposits, loans, and insurance. New data on outstanding deposits and loans of households were added for the 2011 FAS. The database aims at supporting policymakers and researchers to strengthen their understanding of the determinants and implications of financial access and usage. The disseminated financial access indicators can help identify knowledge gaps and appropriate policies for broadening financial access, and enable the authorities to monitor the effectiveness of policies over time.
About 140 countries participated in the 2011 FAS, and the FAS website now contains annual data for about 160 respondents covering a seven-year period (2004–2010), including data for all G-20 countries. The supporting software tools have been upgraded, and the FAS database is now available through the IMF eLibrary. To foster the use of a common methodology in the survey data, the definitions, types of financial institutional units, and financial instruments covered are consistent with the IMF’s Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual and its accompanying Compilation Guide.