The State of Linkage Report. The first global mapping of savings group linkage

Care, Plan, Barclays

The report analyses the process of accessing the financial system, what it calls “linkage activity”, by village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) through financial service providers (Banks, microfinance institutions, mobile telcos, cooperatives, etc).

It studies in which countries such linkage exists, what kind of organisations participate and what products they offer. It emphasises the enormous potential such associations have to boost savings. Once the associations link them into the financial system, their members increase their average savings by between 40% and 100%, and approximately 13% of them are subsequently able to open an individual savings account.

The report identifies 106 active savings associations, linked to 95 formal financial institutions in 27 countries world-wide. 65% of these are in Sub-Saharan Africa, 29% in Asia Pacific and 6% in Latin America*.

* Mexico, Dominican Republic and Colombia