Financial Inclusion

Financial crime controls can have unintended consequences for financial inclusion. We seek to understand these consequences and propose better ways of aligning anti-financial crime and financial inclusion policies.

Main Image Credit Pexels / Anete Lusina

Financial inclusion helps people out of poverty and allows them to build more sustainable and prosperous futures. It is also crucial to the integrity of the financial system and notably the success of anti-financial crime controls. In order to have strong and effective controls it is essential that as many people as possible have access to the formal financial system instead of having to rely on the opaque informal financial system. Ensuring this access, however, can be at odds with anti-financial crime controls themselves. To improve this imbalance, it is essential to first understand the impacts that anti-financial crime standards can have on financial inclusion and second, to propose anti-financial crime policies at an international, national and private sector level that better align with financial inclusion.

Main Image Credit Pexels / Anete Lusina

Aims and objectives

This multi-year project aims to explore the impacts of financial crime standards on financial inclusion and how these can be remediated.

Between 2019-2021 this project focused on better understanding how the FATF framework has affected financial inclusion and suggested ways in which this could be rectified. The project was focused around the following research questions:

  • How have the different elements of the FATF framework interacted with financial inclusion objectives?
  • How is financial inclusion perceived and prioritised by assessed countries throughout the Mutual Evaluation Reports process?
  • How compatible is the FATF system with digital tools for financial inclusion?

In 2022 this project will focus on creating online training modules that will raise awareness among national regulators and members of the private sector on how better to align financial inclusion and anti-financial crime policies.

Project sponsor

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    This project is supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

    Find out more

Project outputs

Access key publications produced as part of this project.

Lessons Learned from the Fourth Round of Mutual Evaluations
Episode 24: FATF’s Unintended Consequences: The Present
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Episode 17: FATF’s Impact on Financial Inclusion
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Walk the Talk: How the Financial Action Task Force Can Prioritise Financial Inclusion
Assessing the Financial Action Task Force’s Impact on Digital Financial Inclusion
Coronavirus: Financial Inclusion Considerations for Risk-Based Supervision and the Virus’s Impact on the Risk-Based Approach
Doing What is Right: Financial Inclusion Needs Better Incentives
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