Who are the Clients of Savings Banks? A Poverty Assessment of the Clients Reached by Savings Banks in India, Mexico, Tanzania, and Thailand

Using CGAP'’s Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT) to measure outreach by saving banks
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This study uses CGAP’s Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT) to examine poverty levels of clients reached by savings banks worldwide.

The study chose four savings banks from India, Mexico, Tanzania and Thailand to assess the number of poor customers they reach, and understand whether these customers use the services on offer any differently than do better-off customers.

CGAP’s Poverty Assessment Tool (PAT) was applied across savings banks. Study findings include:

  • Savings banks have a larger outreach among the poorest households than most other pro-poor institutions;
  • Savings banks have significant outreach among the poorest households in their countries, especially in rural areas and among women;
  • Poorest clients actively use their savings accounts;
  • Direct distribution combined with the right set of incentives seems to be the crucial factor behind pro-poor outreach, although product design and physical accessibility are also important.

The CGAP PAT methodology allows a savings bank to better understand the balance between the breadth and depth of its outreach. Some element of direct control of the customer interface and incentives for staff are necessary to actively reach the poorest segments of society.