UN lauds progress made on financial inclusion in Bangladesh

UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA) Queen Maxima has lauded the progress made in financial inclusion in Bangladesh, noting that the country had improved from 31% in 2014 to 50% in 2017. She was speaking during a meeting with development partners and financial technology (Fintech) sector, organised by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).  Queen Maxima however called for more efforts towards improving women’s access to financial services and supporting women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. She expressed concern about the widening gender financial gap, where 65% of Bangladeshi men have accounts, in comparison to only 36% of women.

The Queen also met the beneficiaries of UNDP’s Strengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO). She also visited UNDP’s Access to Information Program (a2i)’s union digital centre at the union office. The union digital centres have revolutionised financial inclusion in Bangladesh by devolving banking services to the people at the union level.