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I am encouraged by the IMF launch last week of a new online database of financial access indicators. When the initiative was announced at 2009 World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Istanbul, I wrote of the potential and need for such a database. This new resource will be an important tool for increasing financial inclusion. I’m glad that the IMF has followed through on commitments made last year.

As outlined in the CGD Task Force report, Policy Principles for Expanding Financial Access, with such international data comparisons, policy makers and researchers can set forth agendas for improving access to financial services. Policy makers can use the data for monitoring and evaluation of pro-access policies. Researchers will use it to assess varying policy approaches to learn what works.

I am pleased to see that the IMF efforts mirror the CGD Task Force principles (and happy that the IMF webpage links to these!). I sincerely hope that this new database will continue to be expanded in coming years. I fully expect to be among those who will use it!

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.