FinScope Malawi is designed to involve a range of stakeholders engaging in a comprehensive consultation process, thereby enriching the survey and ensuring appropriateness and buy-in. The survey was carried out under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and fully funded by FinMark Trust. A Steering Committee chaired by the Ministry of Finance was set up which comprised representatives from FinMark Trust, Reserve Bank of Malawi, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, Malawi Microfinance Association, UKAid/DFID, USAID, EU, World Bank, UNDP/UNCDF, AfDB, and FHI360.
The Government of Malawi has increasingly recognised that access to financial services can play an important role in poverty alleviation and in decreasing the vulnerability of poor people. As such, financial inclusion is acknowledged as an important part of the 2012 Malawi Growth and Development Strategy and to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, limited access to finance has been identified as a major constraint in Malawi both for individuals as found in the 2008 FinScope Consumer Survey, and for small business owners according to the FinScope MSME Survey 2012. The FinScope Surveys in Malawi not only enabled the assessment of the landscape of financial access, but also provided a benchmark for repeat surveys that will enable the impact of access related policy interventions to be assessed. This brochure summarises the findings of the repeat FinScope Consumer Survey 2014 and as such will address the information needs that would enable the Government of Malawi to develop and monitor evidence-based policies and regulations which will help extend the reach of financial services in Malawi.