According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan for the State Bank of Pakistan, 51% Pakistanis believe it is true that only people earning a regular salary can have a bank account whereas 46% people state that it is false. These results are a part of the nationwide Access to Finance Study conducted by the State Bank of Pakistan in 2015 with the intent of determining the degree of financial inclusiveness of the Pakistani public (please refer to page # 4 for more details).
This press release is part of a special series that aim to foster an empirical understanding of financial inclusion in Pakistan and that hope to create a collaborative network of individuals working on the topic. This press release address an area of banking that is often a common source of misconception among people, being that people who do not earn a regular income are not authorized to have a bank account. This misconception is one reason why many people do not avail banking services to begin with. The case with Pakistan seems to be a similar one as the empirical results of this press release show that a slight majority of Pakistanis is of the impression that one cannot have a bank account unless one is earning.
A nationally representative sample of 10,626 men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “I am going to read some sentences on financial services. Please tell me if you believe whether they are true, false or if you don’t know: Only persons having a regular salary can open a bank account.” In response to this question, a majority of Pakistanis i.e. 51% said that the above mentioned statement is true. On the other hand, 46% said that it is false while 4% also said that they weren’t sure or that they didn’t know if it was true or false.
An urban-rural breakdown of this result also reveals a similar picture. 50% respondents in the urban areas stated that it is indeed true that a person with a regular income only can have a bank account while the same response was given by 51% of the public living in rural areas. Meanwhile, 47% urban Pakistanis said that the statement was false while the same response was given by 45% of the rural public. Only 4% of the urban population and 3% of the rural population stated that they did not know or were not sure if it was true or false that only a person earning a regular income could have a bank account.
According to the provincial breakdown, 49% of the respondents in Punjab, 47% in Sindh, 70% in KPK and 38% in Baluchistan said that the statement that only a person with a regular income can have a bank account is true. On the other hand, 47% of the respondents in Punjab, 50% in Sindh, 27% in KPK and 61% in Baluchistan said that the statement that only a person with a regular income can have a bank account is false. Thus, out of the provinces, it was KPK which had the highest proportion of respondents who felt that the above mentioned statement was true while an outright majority of respondents belonging to Baluchistan felt that only a person with a regular income could have a bank account was an incorrect statement.