The Global Financial Inclusion Index Key themes Singapore retains top position for financial inclusion globally in 2023

Singapore retains top position for financial inclusion globally in 2023

For the second year, Singapore is ranked as the No. 1 financially inclusive market, as measured by the Global Financial Inclusion Index. Explore what put them on top.

Singapore's Chinatown and financial district, featuring old and new urban development
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Singapore remains the most financially inclusive market measured by the Global Financial Inclusion Index (Index) in 2023.

“Singapore’s top ranking is a function of the government, financial system, and employer pillars working effectively in tandem,” says Kay Neufeld, director and head of forecasting at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), our research partner for the Index.

The market ranked first, second, and third in the government, employer, and financial system support pillars, respectively. Particularly noteworthy is Singapore's progress in the employer support pillar, where it rose 12 places from 14th in 2022.

Singapore’s rankings in the Global Financial Inclusion Index
Overall rank Government support Financial system support Employer support
2023 1 1 3 2
2022 1 1 3 14

Singapore’s top ranking for government support is unchanged from last year; however its performance on an indicator level has shown significant improvement, with all but two indicators ranking in the top 10 within the sub-Index. This represents an improvement from the 2022 results, where Singapore ranked in the top 10 for only five indicators within the government support pillar.1

Singapore’s performance in the financial system support pillar is strong, although not all indicators show improvements. It ranks first in the new access to capital indicator and sustains its 2022 ranking for volume of real-time transactions (10th) and presence and quality of fintechs (fourth) indicators.

The continued growth and development of the financial system may be responsible for higher business confidence and investment noted in the Index. Singapore has made notable improvements as an enabler of small and medium enterprise (SME) growth and success and as an enabler of general business confidence, moving from 15th and 16th positions to eighth and 10th in those indicators, respectively.

However, the city-state witnessed declines in access to credit (falling from third to 15th), borrowers' and lenders' protection rights (falling from seventh to 10th), and access to bank accounts (falling from 12th to 18th).

By far the largest improvement in Singapore’s performance is within the employer support pillar, where it rises to second place across all 42 markets, from 14th in 2022.

“Unlike most of the markets we analyze, strong action to promote financial inclusion from public officials and banks does not appear to be offset by any decline in measures taken by employers,” Neufeld says.

Singapore has achieved notable progress across all four indicators making up the employer support pillar, with double-digit advancements recorded in the indicators of provision of guidance and support for financial issues (rising from 22nd to sixth), employee insurance schemes (rising from 22nd to first), and employer pay initiatives (rising from 28th to fourth).

“The advancements Singapore is making in its employer pillar underscore the steadfast support for workforces demonstrated by Singaporean businesses in the face of challenges posed by high inflation and a consequential impact on the cost of living,” Neufeld says.

What's next?

Explore more insights from the 2023 Global Financial Inclusion Index report (PDF).