Support for the Charter

“By signing the Linking for Change Savings Charter as an implementer, UNCDF commits to the Charter principles which are already deeply entrenched in the programming, tradition and culture of UNCDF.Targeting the ’last mile’ unbanked populations in LDCs is at the core of our mission and programming.

In rural Sub-Saharan Africa, where there is a dearth of infrastructure and where few formal financial institutions operate, savings groups are sprouting up with the help of INGOs and of their own accord. Savings groups are the community-based systems that rural populations, mostly women, use to support their household and livelihood goals.

UNCDF strongly believes in a savings led approach to financial inclusion and in bringing these savings groups to another level through linkages. UNCDF’s vision is that these linkages have the power to increase women’s options, create greater security and resilience by connecting them to the opportunities formal institutions can offer. ”
Executive Secretary of UNCDF, Judith Karl

“This is the sort of thing that banking should be doing – it's about real people, taking out real loans, to do real things. Thank you to Barclays, Plan and CARE, and to the community for all you are doing. This sends out a great message to Tanzania, and to all of Africa.”
Former US President, Bill Clinton

“[Banking on Change's] core principles are simplicity, trust, responsibility and integrity. It starts with saving, rather than credit. Just as the bank crash occurred on a tide of testosterone, the new wave of banking is female-led and cautious. But its most radical feature is that it is happening among the world’s poorest, the once unbankables.”
Editor of the London Evening Standard, Sarah Sands

“The approach advocated by the Linking for Change Savings Charter can benefit both developing economies and banks like Barclays who want to responsibly serve a new and growing market of customers. Barclays is developing commercially viable products that suit the needs of those living on less than US$2 a day – including bespoke group savings accounts, overdraft facilities and innovative mobile applications. These new services have the potential to transform the lives of disadvantaged people, while at the same time enabling us to grow our business.”
Barclays Global Head of Citizenship & Reputation, Diane Eshleman

“One of the most significant things we’ve learnt from this partnership is that we can’t fulfil the scale of this ambition alone. We need further collaboration between banks, NGOs, governments and technology providers. That’s why we’re calling for input and support to establish international principles for savings-led financial inclusion. The Linking for Change Savings Charter gets back to basics about responsible banking for the world’s poorest people. Only 37% of women in poor countries have access to basic financial services, savings, credit or insurance. Basic access to finance creates incredible gains for women by increasing household income and boosting confidence and dignity. The Charter has huge potential. It’s an opportunity for banks to tap into a huge pool of potential economically active customers, worth an estimated US$145bn.”
President and CEO of CARE USA, Dr. Helene Gayle

“Here at Plan, we recently reached the one million members mark for our savings groups worldwide. Banking on Change, our partnership with Barclays and CARE, has been a vital and flagship project. We believe that young people must have better access to trusted financial services if they are to develop, but with so many people still lacking access to banking solutions, it is a problem that we must solve together. That’s why we are calling on others to support our joint vision for the Linking for Change Savings Charter.”
CEO of Plan International, Nigel Chapman

"We have all the pieces of the puzzle to link savings group at scale: the business case, the demand, the INGOs, the available technology. The only thing we need to get more of is financial service providers."
Mastercard Foundation Financial Inclusion Program Manager, Prabhat Labh

"Fidelity Bank Ghana recognises how important basic financial services, especially savings, are to many poor people. We believe in the power of savings groups to enhance financial inclusion.

"This Charter plays an important role in ensuring that savings groups reach their full potential and we are proud to be one of the first indigenous banks in Africa to sign this Charter. We hope others will join us in signing the Charter.""
Fidelity Bank Ghana Director of Financial Inclusion & CSR, Dr William Derban

"Financial intermediaries like banks and savings groups intermediate savers and borrowers to efficiently allocate capital in a market economy. It stands to reason that some clients in savings groups will improve their economic wellbeing and need additional financial services that banks can offer. Linking for Change understands this and is laying the groundwork for a global movement for financial inclusion. World Vision's economic development work has this as one of its core strategic objectives."
Economic Development Director at World Vision International, Kyhl Amosson

Sarah's story

Sarah Mutanda, a 23 year old farmer from Uganda
© Jon Spaull / Banking on change

Sarah Mutanda, a 23-year-old farmer from Uganda © Jon Spaull / Banking on change

“It has empowered us, especially the ladies, to do business. I am able to earn a living. I can provide for my family, and my husband no longer has to provide everything.”

Read Sarah's story
"This is the sort of thing that banking should be doing - it's about real people, taking out real loans, to do real things. Thank you to Barclays, Plan and CARE, and to the community for all you are doing. This sends out a great message to Tanzania, and to all of Africa."
Former US President Bill Clinton
"[Banking on Change's] core principles are simplicity, trust, responsibility and integrity. It starts with saving, rather than credit. Just as the bank crash occurred on a tide of testosterone, the new wave of banking is female-led and cautious. But its most radical feature is that it is happening among the world's poorest, the once unbankables."
Editor of the London Evening Standard Sarah Sands
"Linking informal savings to formal banking creates both social and commercial benefits. It has the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people, while at the same time, enabling us to support more customers and grow our business."
Barclays Group Chief Executive Antony Jenkins
"One of the most significant things we've learnt from this partnership is that we can't fulfil the scale of this ambition alone. We need further collaboration between banks, NGOs, governments and technology providers. That's why we're calling for input and support to establish international principles for savings-led financial inclusion..."
President and CEO of CARE USA Dr. Helene Gayle
"Here at Plan, we recently reached the one million members mark for our savings groups worldwide. Banking on Change, our partnership with Barclays and CARE, has been a vital and flagship project. We believe that young people must have better access to trusted financial services if they are to develop, but with so many people still lacking access to banking solutions, it is a problem that we must solve together..."
CEO of Plan International Nigel Chapman