Financial Inclusion: Can it Meet Multiple Macroeconomic Goals?


Ratna Sahay ; Martin Cihak ; Papa M N'Diaye ; Adolfo Barajas ; Srobona Mitra ; Annette J Kyobe ; Yen N Mooi ; Reza Yousefi

Publication Date:

September 15, 2015

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Disclaimer: This Staff Discussion Note represents the views of the authors and does not necessarily represent IMF views or IMF policy. The views expressed herein should be attributed to the authors and not to the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management. Staff Discussion Notes are published to elicit comments and to further debate.


Using several recently available global datasets, this Staff Discussion Note examines macroeconomic effects of financial inclusion. It finds significant benefits to economic growth from financial inclusion, but the benefits diminish as financial inclusion and depth become large. Broadening access to credit can compromise economic and bank stability in countries with weak bank supervision. Other forms of financial inclusion—such as access to and use of bank accounts, branches, and ATMs—do not hurt stability, and can be promoted extensively. The note finds that gaps in financial inclusion are associated with economic inequality, but the association appears relatively weak.


Staff Discussion Notes No. 2015/017



Publication Date:

September 15, 2015



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