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In many countries, a lack of access to financial services is a factor which hinders or blocks economic growth. The authors investigate how far the German savings bank model can be transferred to developing and transition countries.

The book “From microfinance to inclusive banking – why local banking works” is based on a study commissioned by the Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) of the Academic Sponsorship of the Savings Banks Finance Group. The authors are Prof. Hans Dieter Seibel (University of Cologne), Prof. Paul Thomes (RWTH Aachen University) and Prof. Reinhard H. Schmidt (Goethe University Frankfurt).

Many countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, and now also in parts of Europe lack access to financial services, with devastating consequences for the economic and social development of these countries. Without credit, there is no investment in the future. Although there has been progress on the issue of ‘financial inclusion’ in recent years, there are still over two billion people and some 300 million business enterprises without access to financial services.

The authors argue that the German savings bank model (German Sparkassen) has proved itself, and is sustainable because of the balance it creates between social and economic aspects, and they ask a number of questions.

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