The Banking on Change (BoC) partnership between Barclays, CARE International, and Plan International addressed the global challenge of financial exclusion. It was the first partnership between a global bank and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to link informal Savings Groups to formal banking services. Phase 1 was implemented in 11 countries: Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Peru, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia. This initiative aimed to break down some of the barriers that prevent poor people from accessing formal financial services and, in doing so, proved that no one is too poor to save. The Banking on Change partnership reached 513,000 people in the three years of Phase I and has created hundreds of youth-only Savings Groups. On average, each member has saved $58 per year. Additional achievements include 494 new group savings accounts established with Barclays branches in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, and Tanzania. The global Phase 1 demonstrated successes in improving the socioeconomic situation of group members, including slight increases in educational expenses (from 63.9 percent to 67.5 percent of respondents spending on education) and decreases in beneficiaries failing to access health care (from 17.5 percent to 14.5 percent unable to access due to lack of funds).
Given the achievements of the partnership, Barclays decided in 2012 to renew its commitment for another three years (2013 – 2015), with approximately 14.1 million (split between Plan and CARE). Phase 2 of the partnership ran until 2015 in seven of the 11 countries targeted in Phase I (Egypt, Ghana, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia), and focused on providing financial access and enterprise skills to youth, ensuring that young people are financially included and have the skills to be economically independent. Youth Savings Group members also piloted the new Enterprise Your Life entrepreneurship curriculum, developed by Plan and Making Cents International.
11,725 Youth Savings Groups have been established during Phase 2, with total membership of 245,763 (142% of target). In addition, 174,482 members of savings groups ‘carried over’ from Phase 1 have been given additional trainings in financial literacy and business skills, and 4,397 groups have been linked to formal financial institutions. A total of 307,605 young people under 35 have been reached during Phase 2. The total savings by both carry-over and Youth Savings Groups combined in their current cycle is $15,626,071, and the total loaned by both in the current savings cycle is $13,380,936. Plan remained the sole implementer in Tanzania and Zambia and lead implementer in Egypt and Ghana.
- Barclays Bank PLC
- Grant Amount (Phase I)
- Project Start Date (Phase I)
- Project End Date (Phase I)
- Grant Amount (Phase II)
- Project Start Date (Phase II)
- Project End Date (Phase II)
- Technical Areas Covered
- Youth Savings Groups (YSGs), Linkage, and Add-on Trainings (YSGs as a platform for additional services)