The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released the results of the fourth annual Financial Access Survey (FAS) through the FAS website. The 2013 FAS round was conducted with generous financial support from the Netherlands' Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The IMF's FAS is the most comprehensive source of global supply-side data on financial inclusion, encompassing internationally-comparable basic indicators of financial access and usage by corporations and households. In addition to providing policymakers, researchers, and financial service providers with annual geographic and demographic data on access to basic consumer financial services worldwide, the FAS is an officially recognized data source for the G-20 Basic Set of Financial Inclusion Indicators endorsed by the G-20 Leaders at the Los Cabos Summit in June 2012.The data are available to the public free of charge.
The 2013 round had a response rate of over 96 percent with 186 reporting jurisdictions, including two countries reporting data for the first time. In addition to the newly participating countries, the overall coverage of the survey indicators increased significantly. Fifteen additional countries reported data for small and medium enterprises lending and the number of countries reporting microfinance and credit union data increased by five and twelve, respectively, relative to last year's survey.
The FAS database currently contains annual data and metadata for 189 jurisdictions, including all G-20 economies, covering a nine-year period (2004-2012). In addition to the FAS website, the database is available through the IMF eLibrary, the IMF's main external data portal, which facilitates search and use by the public. To foster the use of a common methodology in the survey data, the definitions, types of institutional units, and financial instruments covered in the FAS are broadly consistent with the IMF's Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual and its accompanying Compilation Guide.