Across the world, 2.5 billion people don’t have access to basic financial services like savings accounts, loans and insurance. Without these services, families are less able to weather uneven cash flows and reach their educational and business goals.
Often seen as a problem of poor, developing countries, financial exclusion is actually far more widespread.
The Center for Financial Inclusion tapped into the popularity of the FIFA World Cup to demonstrate this. Using global exclusion rates and UN population data, Center fellow Sonja E. Kelly created a bracket where the “winner” was the nation with the largest population lacking formal bank accounts.
Although Nigeria won, the United States reached the final four despite having the highest GDP per capita of the 32 countries facing off in the World Cup.
“Exclusion is everyone’s problem,” wrote Kelly.