According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 64% Pakistanis are saving at the present. Results for other regions and countries show that in 2015, 32% adults in Asia reported saving money, 26% in Latin America, 61% in Singapore and 36% in Sri Lanka. Comparing Pakistan’s figures with those of other regions and countries shows that on average the proportion of people who report to save money is higher in Pakistan. However, the amount saved is proportionally smaller in nominal and relative terms. 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 # 3 for more details).
Introduction to the series on Financial Inclusion Research:
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 are currently saving in cash or any other form of formal or informal saving. This is an important question to ask with regards to financial inclusion. One of the benefits of financial inclusion is that it inculcates in users of formal financial services the practice to save regularly, which for any developing economy is vital in the long run; saving leads to economic gains as it helps in creation of capital formation. Therefore, assessing saving patterns in the country is important not only for the long term economic growth of the country but also for formal financial stakeholders, who should devise literacy programs accordingly, to instill the habit of saving among the masses. This press release thus aims to provide an empirical picture of those Pakistanis who are currently saving in the country.
A nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked, “At the current/ present moment are you saving in cash or saving in any other form?” In response to this question, 64% said they are saving at the present whereas 36% said they are not saving at the present.