Banking on Change Partnership with Plan International

Key Facts

Barclays and Plan International have a partnership called Banking on Change. The partnership aims to improve the quality of life for poor people by extending and developing access to basic financial services.

Extending access to banking and financial services within low-income communities allows poor people to manage their money more efficiently and effectively and creates new opportunities for inclusive economic growth. In Africa, where up to 80 percent of the population is un-banked, the initiative has the potential to overcome some of the most significant barriers to financial inclusion and sustainable development."

Through Banking on Change, Barclays and Plan International are supporting financial inclusion of low-income communities primarily through Village Savings and Loan Associations and by providing low-income communities with advice and training on how to manage their accounts. Members pool savings into an interest-bearing fund from which they can then borrow. They also vote on how many loans are disbursed, the amounts and their repayment dates. The associations, which average 10 to 30 members, are located in areas not typically serviced by banks. So far, projects are running in Mazabuka and Chibombo.