According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 72% Pakistanis agreed with the following statement: ‘Owing money to anyone is not good’. 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, other formal financial institutions as well as individual and household decisions on financial matters. This particular press release therefore aims to empirically determine the proportion of Pakistanis who are strictly averse to the concept of owing money. Whether people feel that owing money, regardless of who they owe it to, is good or bad, is an important question to ask with regards to financial inclusion since public opinion on this matter may contribute towards determining the success of loans that banks and other financial institutions provide. A loan is a sum of money that a person receives from either informal (people) or formal financial institutions (banks etc.) in exchange for future repayment of the principal amount as well as some interest. Since a loan has to be paid back to the lender, it is therefore money that is owed. However, this aversion of people towards owing money adversely impacts the popularity of loans and further feeds into the negative perception that people have about loans.