Principal Financial Group has announced the upcoming launch of the Global Financial Inclusion Index which will seek to uncover the key drivers shaping financial inclusion and exclusion in over 40 markets around the world.
Produced in collaboration with the Center for Economics and Business Research, the index will combine employer and consumer surveys with verified public data to create a financial inclusion scoring system.
“The index will assess the extent to which governments are promoting financial inclusion, examine the availability and uptake of financial products and services for populations, and assess the level of support employers provide to their employees in each market” , Principal said.
Pre-pandemic data from the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development indicated that 1.7 billion people were excluded from the formal financial system.
Principal also noted that the effects of the pandemic have led to increased poverty rates and also widened the wealth and income gap.
The company’s chairman and CEO, Dan Houston, said financial inclusion is the foundation of global economic progress.
“When people are excluded from the financial system, it hampers their ability to earn a living, prepare for and recover from crises, and build for the future,” he said.
“Our Global Financial Inclusion Index will provide a clear and measurable view of financial inclusion so that we can influence change and help more people and businesses have better access to financial security.”
The index’s stated aim is to provide actionable insights to help improve financial inclusion and provide a “comprehensive and insightful resource” that can be used by businesses and the financial services industry as well as policy makers. , universities and non-governmental organizations.
Principal said the index would help him and key stakeholders add dimension to the dialogue on financial inclusion as a critical component of financial security and provide an understanding of barriers to financial security through to data-driven insights.
Additionally, the company said it will advocate for financial systems that enable long-term financial security, stability and advancement and identify impactful collaborative opportunities that can help bring about positive change.
The first Global Financial Inclusion Index is expected to be released in September this year.
Jon Bragg is a reporter for Investor Daily from Momentum Media, nestegg and ifa. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of financial topics and issues and exploring the many implications they have on all aspects of life.