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Majority Pakistanis (58%) admit to not feeling in control of their financial affairs.

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According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 58% Pakistanis agreed with the following statement: ‘You often don’t feel in control of your finances/money matters’. On the other hand, 42% 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 aims to determine the proportion of Pakistanis who feel that they are often not in control of their financial/monetary matters. These days, in order to bring more Pakistanis into the formal financial net, banks these days allow their potential clients to opt for different types of bank accounts, depending on their needs and their financial situations, such as current accounts and saving accounts. Furthermore, banks also offer a variety of financial services to customers that, if utilized, can enable the customers/clients of banks to feel more financially secure and in control. However, 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. 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 often don’t feel in control of your finances/money matters]” In response to this question, 58% Pakistanis agreed with this statement whereas 42% respondents disagreed. The empirical results show that majority in the Country don’t feel in control of their financial situation. Thus, financial stakeholders in Pakistan can make use of this public perception by perhaps marketing their financial products in a way that makes people feel that owning a bank account would be able to make them feel in greater control of their own finances.

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