Banking on Change – a partnership between Barclays and the charities Plan UK and CARE International UK – supports community savings groups that enable members to save collectively, manage their money better, access affordable loans and in many cases, start or expand a small business.
Group Chief Executive Antony Jenkins said: “Banking on Change and our partnership with Plan and CARE is a tangible example of Barclays’ commitment to helping people to achieve their ambitions. It is making major headway in finding solutions to sustainable, savings-led microfinance that can be scaled up to make a real difference.”
Since its launch in 2009, this global programme has supported more than 513,000 of the world’s most disadvantaged people – classified as those living under US$2 per day.
It has helped form more than 25,000 savings groups, exceeding its original target by 34%.
Barclays has also pioneered the development of innovative banking products and services under the programme, which means that 660 of these groups are now directly linked to formal banking through branches of Barclays in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, serving around 18,000 individuals.
The importance of supporting people to be financially included was highlighted recently by Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Retail and Business Banking, at a recent seminar supported by Barclays and hosted by The Guardian newspaper.