What is the Global Financial Development Report?

It is a new regular publication of the World Bank Group. The first issue of the report was launched in September 2012 and examined the role of the state in finance. The second issue presents and analyses a broad set of data on financial inclusion around the world. It provides policy recommendations on how to develop sustainable and inclusive financial sectors that promote financial inclusion and shared prosperity. It builds on a large body of underlying research and analytical work in the World Bank Group and elsewhere as well as our operational expertise. The report is accompanied by a large database on financial inclusion and development that are made available online. Some of this is new; some of it already exists at the World Bank Group but is being made publicly available in one place for the first time. 

What sets this report apart from other publications on finance and development?

The report is rather unique in its scope and depth. The World Bank Group has some regional and country reports on finance, but nothing of this sort at the global level. The World Development Report has many other topics to examine and does not regularly cover financial sector issues. Other publications focus on issues such as international capital flows or financial stability. For example, IMF's Global Financial Stability Report concentrates on stability issues, primarily in major financial institutions and developed financial markets. The Global Financial Development Report is a good complement to that. It concentrates on longer-term financial sector development issues, and its ambition is to go beyond the major economies and advanced markets, and to emphasize middle- and low-income economies. Also, the Global Financial Development Report comes with interesting new data and benchmarking of countries around the world in terms of financial sector development, which is not done elsewhere as well.

Who should read this report?

The report aims to reach country officials working on financial sector issues. That means policymakers and staff of central banks, ministries of finance, regulatory agencies, and other government bodies. But the report’s intended audience also includes staff of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, academics and students in focusing on financial development issues, think tanks, private sector participants, and donors, along with the development community more generally. Academic readers may want to see the underlying papers, which we include on the website alongside the report. And many will surely be interested in the financial development and inclusion data that we are putting together and making available.

What will readers find in this report?

There are two major aspects. The first aspects is a set of data and measurement framework for financial development. Website users are able to interact with the data, visualize the relevant financial development indicators and analyze trends. This is regularly updated and is a connecting link between the various issues of this report series. The second aspect of the report is thematic. The report covers a specific ‘featured topic’ each year, presenting the related evidence and policy discussions. For example, the current report is organized around the theme of financial inclusion while last year it addressed the role of the state in finance.