August 23, 2018
Yangon, Myanmar: Financial sector stakeholders representing Myanmar government, private sector, and development partners convened today in Mandalay to discuss the findings of a nationwide financial sector diagnostic, Making Access Possible (MAP).
MAP operates through a partnership between the DaNa Facility funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Myanmar, and the Ministry of Planning and Finance (MOPF’s) Financial Regulatory Department (FRD). Based on a comprehensive survey of 5,500 rural and urban households, the diagnostic aims to provide stakeholders a deep understanding of the financial sector supply and including the level of access to formal financial services at a country level.
In summary, the 2018 assessment found a significant increase in financial inclusion growth from the MAP 2013 findings. Adult access to at least one formal regulated financial service increased from 30% in 2013 to 48% today, or 16.5 million adults, overtaking a target set in 2014 of 40%. Moreover, sole reliance on informal financial services fell by 30% from 10 million to 7 million adults over the past five years. It showed that adults are less dependent solely on unregulated financial services (e.g. money lenders or informal savings) by almost one-third since 2013.
Recent years have seen an expansion of Myanmar’s formal financial sector due to an increase in private bank depositors, as well strong growth in the microfinance and cooperative sectors.
Opening the Workshop, His Excellency, U Myat Thu, Mandalay Minister for MOPF, recognised the increase in financial inclusion within Mandalay region and the nation. He encouraged the financial industry to increase service outreach in savings, credit, insurance, and digital finance to broaden and deepen financial inclusion and its benefits throughout society.
Liz Patterson, Private Sector Adviser at DFID speaking about the research said: “The move towards increased access to formal financial services is good news and means that people across Myanmar are more able to save, invest and prosper through their use of formal finance services. We still have a lot to do though, as we work to make sure that people across Myanmar have the financial means and tools they need to improve the lives of their families and communities.”
Paul Luchtenburg, Country Coordinator for UNCDF in Myanmar noted, “The improvements in financial inclusion result from the government’s leadership in financial inclusion combined with the work of development partners and other stakeholders. Attaining similar results in the future will require continued systematic and strategic implementation by all stakeholders under the government’s leadership.
The workshop, the third such forum since the data was published, is organised and led by the Myanmar Government’s Financial Regulatory Department and supported by UNCDF and the UK Government’s DaNa Facility. The Central Bank of Myanmar played a key role in the Forum, while the private sector was represented by the Myanmar Bankers Association, the Myanmar Micro-Finance Association, the Republic of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, mobile network operators, digital payment providers, and other contributors to financial inclusion within the marketplace.
Notes to editors:
About the DaNa Facility
The DaNa Facility is a UK Department for International Development (DFID)-funded 4.5-year programme, established in May 2016 as one of three components of DFID’s wider ‘Business for Shared Prosperity’ (BSP) programme. The DaNa Facility, implemented by DAI Europe and KPMG, supports inclusive economic growth and private sector development in Myanmar through responsible and sustainable business growth, investment and trade. See www.danafacility.com.
UNCDF has been in Myanmar since 2012 implementing a variety of projects which improve financial inclusion particularly for those not served or marginally served such as women and people living in rural areas. Globally, UNCDF makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
For more information see: www.uncdf.org/en/myanmar