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Majority Pakistanis (61%) prefer to keep their savings either at their home or at the homes of their relatives/friends; the second most popular method for saving money is through contributing to committees.

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According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan for State Bank of Pakistan, 61% Pakistanis have put most of their savings in their homes or at the homes of their relatives/friends in the past 12 months. Furthermore, 21% Pakistanis have put most of their savings in a committee whereas only 6% Pakistanis decided to put most of their savings in banks. 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. This press release aims to identify the methods of saving money that have been used by Pakistanis the most within the past one year. This may enable financial stakeholders within Pakistan to devise strategies to bring more Pakistanis into the formal financial sector.

A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “Of these different methods you mentioned, in which have you put most of your savings during the past 12 months?” In response to this question, 61% Pakistanis said that they had put most of their savings at their home or at the home of their relatives/friends, 21% Pakistanis were utilizing most of their savings by contributing them in a committee and only 6% of the respondents said that they were using banks for most of their savings in the last year. 3% said that they had put most of their savings in buying gold and jewelry which they could sell in case of an emergency while the same proportion of respondents used most of their savings in purchasing livestock which they could sell in case of an emergency.

A gender breakdown of this result reveals that 65% men had put most of their savings in their homes or the homes of their relatives and friends whereas the same response was given by 57% women. On the question of being a part of a committee, significantly more women (29%) than men (14%) were putting most of their savings in committees. Same proportion of women (3%) and men (3%) were using most of their savings in purchasing gold and jewelry which they could sell in case of an emergency. However, on the option of using banks for saving most of their money, more men (9%) than women (3%) were using banks for saving their money.

A rural/urban breakdown reveals that 58% of the respondents in urban areas and 63% in rural areas were saving most of their money by keeping it in their homes or the homes of their relatives/friends. Furthermore, 25% urban residents as opposed to 19% rural residents were contributing most of their savings to a committee. 3% urban and 3% rural residents had used most of their savings in buying gold and jewelry in the past twelve months that they could sell in case of a financial emergency. 8% urban respondents and 5% rural respondents were using banks to save most of their money. These statistics reveal that majority Pakistanis are still not availing formal financial services for most of their savings since only 8% urban respondents and even fewer rural respondents are utilizing banks for saving money. Pakistanis, irrespective of whether they are living in urban or rural areas, seemingly don’t view banks as a popular source of saving money.

According to the provincial breakdown, 61% of the respondents in Punjab, 51% in Sindh, 77% in KPK and 62% in Baluchistan said they have kept most of their savings either at their own home or the home of their relative/friend. Meanwhile, 22% respondents in Punjab, 26% in Sindh, 15% in KPK and 9% in Baluchistan utilize most of their savings by contributing to a committee. Only 2% in Punjab, 6% respondents in Sindh, 2% in KPK and 1% in Baluchistan have used most of their savings in buying gold and/or jewelry that they can sell in case of an emergency. Finally, 7% of the respondents in Punjab, 7% in Sindh, 2% in KPK and 13% in Baluchistan use banks for saving most of their money.

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