Financial Inclusion in Romania - Issues and Opportunities

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The report aims to explore and analyze the major gaps in financial inclusion and access to finance in Romania, as identified in the Technical Note on Financial Intermediation prepared in the context of the Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) (2018). The FSAP technical note analyzed the factors at play explaining the relatively low and declining level of financial intermediation in Romania for both the household and the corporate segment and offered policy recommendations to support sustainable enhancement of financial intermediation. The note made specific recommendations to support financial inclusion including: a) undertaking a cost-benefit analysis related to the further development of the mutual help houses including reviewing the regulatory and supervisory framework, b) investigating reforms of government policies to improve access to finance for rural areas and agriculture particularly focusing on small holders, and c) preparing a national financial inclusion strategy. This current report aims to build on these critical gaps in financial inclusion and provide further insights that could help policy makers in enhancing financial inclusion and access to finance in underserved areas.

The report is organized as follows:

Chapter 1 conducts a geo-spatial mapping of financial inclusion and access to finance for both individuals and enterprises.

Chapter 2 is a diagnostic assessment of the state of finance for agriculture and identifies constraints and potential opportunities.

Chapter 3 provides an overview of the role of the cooperative financial institutions in financial inclusion especially in rural areas and recommendations how this may be enhanced. 

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