As Myanmar modernises its financial sector to better serve its economy and people, a growing opportunity to extend financial services to the majority of its people has opened up. MAP found that 30% of the 39 million adults use regulated financial services, but only 6% use more than one service. Fewer than 5% of adults have bank accounts. The majority of citizens rely on unregulated providers or family and friends to meet their need for financial services. The cost of services provided by unregulated providers is usually substantially higher than those offered by regulated providers. MAP also found that rural areas are slightly better served than urban areas. This is the result of targeted credit provision to rural areas by state financial institutions coupled with a nascent commercial banking sector. Microfinance institutions, operating under a legal framework since 2011, have made some headway and currently serve 700 000 clients.
Through its in-depth diagnostic analyses, MAP identified seven priority opportunities to extend financial access to the people of Myanmar:
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