Financial Inclusion in “Empty Spain”
The Spanish Banking Association (AEB), CECA and the National Union of Credit Cooperatives (UNACC) have presented the "Report on Financial Inclusion in Spain", prepared by the Valencian Institute of Economic Research (Ivie). This in-depth analysis of banking services in Spain outlines the map of access to financial services in Spain, especially in rural areas. According to the report, in 2021, the population without access to banking services is 657,557 people (1.4% of the total).
Main conclusions of the analysis:
1) Study of the Banking Services Network
- The Branch Network has been reduced from 2008 to 2021 by 58% since 2008 from 45,707 to 19,015 branches.
- ATMs have been reduced by 23% in the same period (from 61,714 to 47,639).
- Despite the reduction, Spain has one of the densest networks in the EU-27, being the third densest network per inhabitants/branch (2,463 people per branch versus EU average of 3,232) after France and Bulgaria.
- In addition, in Spain we have other forms of providing banking services in rural areas, such as financial agents (4,498) and post offices for cash withdrawals (4,644).
- In conclusion, the four banking service channels total 64,778 access points at the end of 2021 throughout the country.
2) Accessibility of banking services
- Spain has 8,131 municipalities and in 4,422 there are no bank branches.
- Of these 4,422 municipalities by 2021, 89.2% did not have bank branches.in 2008.
- Including the ATM network, the number is 4,007 municipalities (49.3%).
- Including the financial agents, it would be 3700 municipalities (45.5%).
- Including the Post Office Network, we reach 3,342 municipalities (42.7%).
- Including mobile offices 3,200 municipalities (39.7%).
- The population without financial access is 657,557 (equivalent to 1.4%) of the total population of Spain.
3) Characteristics of municipalities without access points to banking services
- 92.5% of these municipalities have less than 500 inhabitants (2,987).
- 67.8% of the population lives in municipalities with less than 500 inhabitants.
4) Distance and access time of municipalities with no access point to banking services
- 99.1% of the population has an access point to banking services within 5 kilometers.
- 99.5% of the Spanish population has an access point to Banking Services in less than 10 minutes by road.