The index will examine the key drivers shaping financial inclusion across governments, employers and the financial services industry.
Principal Financial Group has announced the upcoming launch of the Global Financial Inclusion Index that will seek to uncover the main drivers that shape financial inclusion and exclusion across more than 40 markets worldwide.
Produced in collaboration with the Centre for Economics and Business Research, the index will combine surveys of employers and consumers with verified public data to create a scoring system of financial inclusion.
“The index will evaluate the degree to which governments promote 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 had led to increased rates of poverty and also widened the wealth and income gap.
The firm’s chairman, president and CEO, Dan Houston said that financial inclusion was at the foundation of global economic progress.
“When people are excluded from the financial system it hinders their ability to earn, prepare for and recover from crises, as well as build for the future,” he said.
“Our Global Financial Inclusion Index will provide a clear, measurable view of financial inclusion so we can influence change and help more people and businesses have greater access to financial security.”
The stated goal of the index is to fuel 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 policymakers, academia, and non-governmental organisations.
Principal said that the index would help it and key stakeholders add dimension to the dialogue on financial inclusion as a core component of financial security and provide an understanding of the barriers to financial security through data-driven insights.
Additionally, the firm said it would advocate for financial systems that enable long-term financial security, stability and advancement and determine impactful collaboration opportunities that can help drive positive change.
The inaugural Global Financial Inclusion Index is expected to be released in September this year.
Jon Bragg is a journalist for Momentum Media's Investor Daily, 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.
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