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Access to financial services: a review of the issues and public policy objectives

Stijn Claessens ()

Journal of Financial Transformation, 2006, vol. 17, 16-19

Abstract: Finance is an important component of development, including for the poor. Indeed, much recent empirical evidence has shown that a more developed financial system can help reduce poverty and lower income inequality. In addition to facilitating overall economic growth, finance can help individuals smooth their income, insure against risks, and broaden investment opportunities. Yet, access to finance is limited in many developing countries to few individuals and firms. Policy questions thus arise concerning what determines access to financial services, what barriers may hinder access, whether more general availability of financial services should be a public sector goal, and, if so, what the best means of achieving this are.

Keywords: access to financial services; poverty; growth; developing countries (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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