Financial inclusion and capability survey report highlights

October 21, 2015

  • About six of ten Filipinos (59 percent) say that they plan how they spend the money they earn or receive.
  • 57 percent of those who plan or budget their expenditures report that they have money left after paying for basic expenditures compared to 42 percent of those that do not plan their spending.
  • Promoting financial literacy therefore is important to achieve greater financial inclusion and boost the growth of micro and small enterprises.

•    About 20 million Filipino adults report that they save money. Of this number, only ten million have bank accounts. 

•    Almost all (98 percent) of those who save but don’t have bank accounts earn less than PhP 50,000 (US$1,086) a month. This suggests that there are significant opportunities for expanding financial inclusion among low and lower-income groups in the Philippines. 

•    The most commonly reported obstacles to owning bank accounts are not having enough money (reported by 20 percent), lack of need for an account (18 percent), lack of trust (17 percent), distance (16 percent), lack of documents (10 percent), “the bank don’t treat people well” (9 percent), and high cost (9 percent).  

•    23 million adult Filipinos report that their households run out of money for food and other necessary items either “sometimes” (29 percent) or “regularly” (26 percent).  

•    Even among those earning more than PhP 50,000 (US$ 1,086) a month, 23 percent state that they run short of money for basic necessities. Among the households that report that they run short of money for basic necessities, the use of credit is near universal – 94 percent borrow to cover costs. 

•    Filipinos are more likely to use informal credit and saving services than formal financial services. Only 4 percent of respondents report having a mortgage, 5 percent have credit card and 10 percent availed credit product from a formal financial institution. At the same time, more than a third relies on informal savings and credit. 

•    Those who are knowledgeable about financial matters (those who are “financially literate”) are more likely to report that they have money left after paying for basic necessities and less likely to say that they have borrowed beyond their means. Higher financial literacy scores are strongly correlated with the level of education.