Why get involved?

The 2 billion people who are un-banked represent a huge pool of potential customers who are not depositing in savings accounts or passing through other formal financial channels.

In sub-Saharan Africa, financial exclusion is as high as 76%. Yet there is a savings revolution taking place around the world with nine million informal savings group members who are largely keeping their money under their mattresses.

Demand exists. People living in poverty are already linking to the formal financial sector, but the products and services they are offered are not always the most suitable.

Responsible linkage between the untapped potential of informal savings groups and formal financial institutions could begin to sustainably close the gap that exists between rapid economic growth in poor countries and unacceptable levels of poverty.

The Charter principles contribute towards respecting people’s economic, social and cultural rights in keeping with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Benefits of becoming a ‘Supporter’:

1. Collaboration with other leaders

As one of only 100 signatories of the Charter, you will be among the leaders in an innovative field working together towards solutions on this global issue.

2. You will be at the forefront of financial inclusion development

You will benefit from insights about savings-led approaches and learn how to develop new products and services to meet an emerging market at the base of the pyramid.

3. Support significant social impact

Banking on Change adopts a savings-led approach to microfinance and is not credit-led. Savings-led financial inclusion has been shown to be positively correlated with escaping poverty. Between 2010 and 2012, in Uganda, savings groups’ monthly household income rose from US$60 to US$95, while in Zambia there has been a 35% increase in the number of women holding leadership positions at the community level.

4. A significant return on the time you invest

If you choose to sign the Charter and join the Alliance, you will benefit from a significant return on the time you invest, as well as learning from your peers and their networks.

Additional benefits of becoming an ‘Implementer’:

1. Better business outcomes

We will build the case for viable long-term business models that can change poor people’s lives, and thereby generate a new business stream/customer base for your organisation.

2. Evidence of responsible action

By following the principles in the Charter, you can actively demonstrate your commitment to developing responsible solutions to meet the needs of both the communities and customers you serve.

3. Risk management

By signing the Charter and following the principles, you can engage with those at the base of the pyramid in the right way, reducing potential risks and delivering more successful and sustainable results.

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