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Dominant majority of Pakistanis (72%) believe they can live their life without having a bank account.

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According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 72% Pakistanis agreed with the following statement: ‘You can easily live your life without having a bank account’. On the other hand, 28% disagreed with this statement. 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.

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. Before starting any conversation on developing a methodology of increasing financial inclusivity in Pakistan, it is vital to be aware of the perceptions that the general public has with regards to banks. This particular press release aims to determine the proportion of Pakistanis who feel that owning a bank account is not a necessity in their lives. The banking sector in Pakistan has traditionally had to tackle a number of misconceptions that Pakistanis have regarding it. Even now, in today’s interconnected financial world that is driven by banks and other formal financial institutions, the proportion of Pakistanis in the formal financial net is still fairly low, primarily because of the negative associations that people have attached to banks. One such consequence of these misconceptions has led people to believe that having a bank account is not a necessity. However, what people then fail to realize is that even though it is not a necessity, a bank account still has numerous benefits that only aid in bringing a modicum of financial stability to the people who own it.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “Please tell me if you rather agree or rather disagree with these statements? [You can easily live your life without having a bank account]” In response to this question, 72% Pakistanis agreed with this statement whereas 28% respondents disagreed. The empirical results show that majority in the Country still believes that one can live without owning a bank account. This empirical statistic shows that financial stakeholders in Pakistan still have to make an effort in clearing up misconceptions that Pakistanis have regarding banks so that more people can be brought into the formal financial net.

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