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Majority Pakistanis (65%) would rather deal with people they know rather than with banks when it comes to making financial decisions.

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According to a survey conducted by Gallup Pakistan, 65% Pakistanis agreed with the following statement: ‘When it comes to financial decisions, you would rather deal with people you know than with a bank / financial institution / organization’. On the other hand, 35% 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 they would rather interact with people who they are familiar with than with banks or other financial institutions when it comes to making financial decisions. 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 banks and other financial institutions cannot really be trusted with their financial queries. 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? [When it comes to financial decisions, you would rather deal with people you know than with a bank / financial institution / organization]” In response to this question, 65% Pakistanis agreed with this statement whereas 35% respondents disagreed. The empirical results show that majority people in the Country still don’t tend to rely on banks for their financial decisions. 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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