Financial inclusion has been recognized as one of the drivers towards achieving Bhutan’s national goal of sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development. Promoting and expanding appropriate financial products and services across the country is crucial to inclusive finance development. Studies have shown that access to basic financial products and services, such as savings, payments, credit and investments, make a substantial positive difference in people’s lives. Financial inclusion, therefore, has the potential to improve the financial well-being of the unserved and underserved segments of the population.
His Majesty’s address to the country at the 109th National Day of Bhutan celebrations on 17 December 2016 clearly articulated the potential of the financial sector to create opportunities and improve access to finance for our youth and rural populace. Consistent to his Majesty’s aspiration, financial inclusion has been acknowledged as an important national tool to ensure access to affordable formal financial services for all citizens towards contributing to inclusive economic growth.
The National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) 2018-2023 and National Financial Literacy Strategy (NFIS) 2018-2023 were launched on 30th August 2018 to enhance and enable financial inclusion initiatives in Bhutan. The NFLS 2018-2023 is a subset document to the overreaching NFIS 2018-2023. As per the NFIS 2018-2023, 40% (baseline) of the total adult population remains financially excluded as of December 2017, indicating only 60% of the total adult population has at least one formal regulated account at the existing Financial Service Provider(s). Further, only 15% of the total
the adult population has access to credit and 15% access to insurance services.
The Financial Inclusion National Action Plan (FINAP) targets 85% financial Inclusion based on the financial inclusion value store transaction account by 2023.