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    Only a third of the adult population in the southern Mediterranean has a formal bank account. This is a lower share than one would expect and is despite the relatively high level of deposits in these countries. In contrast, there are more mobile telephone subscriptions than people in this region, coupled with a young, tech-aware population.

    These facts are highlighted in a new report from the EIB: “Mobile financial services in the Mediterranean partner countries” which suggests that financial exclusion threatens economic and social development. The report suggests mobile banking could offer a solution. Development could be driven by demand for certain mobile “killer applications” such as international remittances, retail payments and delivering microfinance. However, the report warns that regulatory and infrastructure challenges need to be addressed first.

    The report and workshop

    On 14 November the EIB is organising a workshop to discuss this topic as part of the European Microfinance Week to be held in Luxembourg on 14-16 November. You will be able to download the “Mobile financial services in the Mediterranean partner countries” publication just before the European Microfinance Week event.

    For more information and registration, you can contact Ogedey Kiziltan,