SA banks’ financial products are still too complex for customers to compare and usually come with high fees and unfair terms attached to them, the World Bank reported on Tuesday. The findings of the World Bank survey, which was commissioned by the Treasury, suggest that SA still has a long way to go before it can reach optimal levels of financial access among low-income households. According to the World Bank’s development indicators. 69.2% of South Africans have accounts with commercial banks or mobile money operators. Of the poorest 40% of South Africans, only 62% owned such accounts in 2017. This figure is likely to be lower when mobile money accounts are taken out of the equation. Finmark’s financial inclusion report shows that 45% of financial services users were still “thinly served” in 2016, with less than the required number and diversity of financial products to serve their needs. The World Bank study investigated different product features of transactional and fixed-deposi...

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