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Access to financial services in Colombia : the"unbanked"in Bogota

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  • Solo, Tova Maria
  • Manroth, Astrid

Abstract

The authors look at the depth of the financial sector in Bogota in terms of the"financial exclusion"of those, particularly poorer citizens, who operate without accounts in formal financial institutions-the unbanked. They begin with a review of the overall decline in financial intermediation from 1998 to 2003, which explains, in part, the high percentage of unbanked-61 percent in a recent household survey in Bogota. The authors next look at the banking system today, concluding that the present challenge is to increase financial intermediation overall, especially with the poor. Their analysis shows that Colombia's banks provide costly services mainly catered toward high-income clients. Existing fees and costs of checking, savings, and loan services average 5-10 percent of a monthly minimum wage, making them hard to afford for low-income clients. The authors also explore the characteristics and impacts of financial exclusion associated with lower and more uncertain incomes, lower education, and closer links to the informal sector. They cite the household survey conducted in Bogota, showing that 70 percent of the unbanked earn less than one minimum wage per month, are three times more likely to be unemployed than the banked, and have lower education levels. The unbanked save and borrow largely in the informal sector, at greater risk and greater cost. At the same time, however, high home ownership rates show that the unbanked have the capacity to build assets, demonstrating that they have"bankable"characteristics. The authors conclude with recommendations for government and for the financial sector to broaden access for the benefit of public and private sectors, and for the unbanked.

Suggested Citation

  • Solo, Tova Maria & Manroth, Astrid, 2006. "Access to financial services in Colombia : the"unbanked"in Bogota," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3834, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3834
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas T. Holyoke, 2001. "Community organization and Community Reinvestment Act lending in Washington, D.C," Proceedings 795, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ana María Iregui-Bohórquez & Ligia Alba Melo-Becerra & María Teresa Ramírez-Giraldo & Ana María Tribín-Uribe, 2016. "Determinantes del acceso al crédito formal e informal: Evidencia de los hogares de ingresos medios y bajos en Colombia," Borradores de Economia 956, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    2. Catalina Granda & Franz Hamann & Cesar E. Tamayo, 2017. "Credit and Saving Constraints in General Equilibrium: Evidence from Survey Data," Borradores de Economia 1002, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
    3. Ricardo N. Bebczuk, 2008. "Financial Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean: Review and Lessons," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0068, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    4. Sanchez-Barrios, Luis Javier & Andreeva, Galina & Ansell, Jake, 2016. "“Time-to-profit scorecards for revolving credit”," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(2), pages 397-406.
    5. World Bank, 2009. "Banking the Poor : Measuring Banking Access in 54 Economies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13804, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Banks&Banking Reform; Public Sector Economics&Finance; Economic Theory&Research; Financial Intermediation; Settlement of Investment Disputes;

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