The FinScope initiative was established to promote financial inclusion and access to financial services across various African countries. The resultant FinScope surveys are nationally representative surveys on the demand, access and use of financial services, and have been carried out in 18 African countries including Uganda.
The 2013 FinScope III survey for Uganda (undertaken by EPRC) follows two previous surveys – FinScope I and II carried out in 2006 and 2009 respectively. The study uses tools and methods developed by FinMark Trust that are standardized to enable comparison across the countries carrying out the surveys and over time. The FinMark Trust also provides guidelines to be followed when collecting data- based on the individual country setting.
Similar to the previous reports, FinScope III collected and pulled together detailed information and data from the adult population about their financial habits and their exposure and interactions with various financial services and institutions.
The principal aim of the project was to examine people’s access and their use of the available financial services. As such, the resultant report was written under the theme ‘Unlocking Barriers to Financial Inclusion in Uganda’. Unlike the preceding surveys however, the FinScope III survey also examined the use and proliferation of Mobile Money and the role it has played in brining financial services to a wider range of people.
The survey was also re-designed to provide a basis for future FinScope panel surveys. With a panel survey, the key stakeholders in the financial sector would be able to monitor the dynamics in access to and usage of financial institutions.
The Project was carried out in collaboration with four institutions; The Secretariat: Bank of Uganda, FinMark Trust, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) who were subcontracted to select a nationally representative sample of adult Ugandans and Reev Consult International contracted to conduct the nationwide household surveys that informed the final report.
The main objective of the survey was to determine the levels of access to and use of financial products and services by the adult population in Uganda. Like the earlier surveys, FinScope III sought to establish the level of financial inclusion by looking at access and usage of financial services and products through four major access strands namely: saving and investment; credit and borrowing; remittances and money transfer; and insurance.
Additionally the survey sought to establish the level of financial literacy amongst the adult population and their perception of consumer protection offered by financial institutions.
Other objectives include:
- Highlight and identify critical areas in order to improve usage of and access to financial services
- Inform policy to develop financial discipline and knowledge
- Provide platform from which financial inclusion can be broadened
- Generate detailed information about the development of the Ugandan financial landscape
Funding was provided by The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID); they provided the financial support for all project activities.