FinMark Trust Launches FinScope South Africa 2011

FinMark Trust launched its FinScope South Africa 2011 survey on the 7th of December at the Hilton hotel in Sandton Johannesburg. This year’s results indicate that overall levels of formal  financial inclusion in South Africa were stable compared to 2010 figures, however, the percentage of individuals aged 16 years and older, who were financially excluded, has increased.  Another observed trend is that saving behaviour using formal products has remained stable at 24%, similar to 2010. The survey indicates that although most individuals recognise the importance of saving, 66% of the adult population indicated that they are not currently saving money. Bank savings products/services have increased slightly, while informal saving has decreased slightly. The observed reason for the absence of saving is mainly a lack of funds and income.

Some of the highlights from the survey include:

62.8% of South African adults are banked (21 184 871 individuals), while 43.5% of adults have/use formal non-bank products/services

97% of banked adults have/use transaction products, while 18.1% of banked adults have/use savings products

There are 27.5% of adults who have/use informal mechanisms for managing their finances. 49.1% of these adults have/use funeral cover products, while 41.5% have/use credit products such as store cards.

39% of South African adults have/use credit products, 26% of which borrow money to buy food, 16% for transport, while 4% for deposits for home improvement and 2% for a deposit on a house.

The 2011 survey also included a new section that focus on the consumers’ livelihoods. Some of the highlights include:

54% of South African adults are satisfied with their current lifestyles – a slight improvement since 2010

Half of the adult population (17.2 million) recognizes that their financial situation is not ideal, and a further 47% find dealing with finances stressful.

More individuals indicated in 2011 that they have not ensured that their financial future is secure and that they do not save regularly.

To access the whole report please visit

About the FinScope Survey

The FinScope survey is a research tool which was developed and by FinMark Trust. It is a nationally representative survey (3900 interviews, randomized sample) of how individuals source their incomes, and how they manage their financial lives. It also provides insight into attitudes and perceptions regarding financial products and services. To date, FinScope surveys have been conducted or initiated in 17 countries (16 African countries and Pakistan).

Over the years the FinScope survey for South Africa besides measuring the levels of financial inclusion, has helped to describe the land of access, i.e. the types of products and services used by financially included individuals); identified the drivers of, and barriers to the usage of financial products and services as well as stimulated evidence based dialogue which has led to effective interventions by relevant stakeholders as a way to deepen financial inclusion.

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