fbpx ADB's Focus on Finance Sector Development: Strategy and Programs | Asian Development Bank

Finance Sector

The financial system is the lifeline of a country's economy. ADB supports general financial sector and capital market development for microfinance, small and medium-sized enterprises, and regulatory reforms in its developing member countries.

Contribution to Operational Priorities

To address operational priorities, ADB offers integrated solutions combining expertise across a range of sectors and themes. These solutions will be delivered through an appropriate mix of public and private sector operations that are best suited to the specific needs on the ground.

The following are the finance sector's contributions to ADB's operational priorities.

Addressing remaining poverty and reducing inequalities

Access to affordable, safe and well-regulated financial products and services for low-income families and underserved population, promoting financial awareness and digital financial literacy

Accelerating progress in gender equality

Mainstreaming gender in financial inclusion for women

Tackling climate change, building disaster resilience, and enhancing environmental sustainability

Incentivizing investments by institutional investors in green and blue sustainable infrastructure through the capital market and protecting the investments through risk sharing and risk transfer instruments

Making cities more livable

Catalyze innovative financing into urban development plans, including green bonds, private equity by embedding disaster insurance and financial technology

Promoting rural development and food security

Investments in rural infrastructure and high-level technology for creating income-generating and financial risk protection solutions

Strengthening governance and institutional capacity

Government capacity to manage crisis and improving observance of international financial standards in financial regulations

Fostering regional cooperation and integration

Enhancing funding and financing of cross-border infrastructure investments, deepening financial markets, regional risk pooling, and strengthening financial institutions and regulations


ADB's Work in the Finance Sector

The Midterm Review of the Financial Sector Operational Plan makes recommendations up to 2020 and provides a platform to launch ADB's Financial Sector Operational Plan beyond 2020 to ensure its relevance with ADB’s Strategy 2030.

It is essential that countries in Asia and the Pacific develop their finance sectors to encourage strong and stable economic growth that is inclusive and, thus, reduces poverty. An effective finance sector will help generate funding for private and public investments, promote savings, improve resource allocation, and facilitate the diversification and management of risks.

Indeed, deep, liquid, and well-regulated financial systems enhance financial stability and help mobilize resources for gestating the mid- and long-term investments that developing societies depend on. Asia and the Pacific, specifically, need more advanced finance to help fund now well-publicized gaps in infrastructure that are hindering development. Greater access to formal financial services, meanwhile, can help raise productivity and incomes and, likewise, reduce poverty.

ADB’s Financial Sector Operational Plan (FSOP) of 2011 articulates and guides the organization’s implementation of its finance sector development agenda through 2020. A mid-term review of that plan, completed in 2016, affirms an operational focus on the finance sector that highlights three key themes touching on each of the areas discussed above: finance sector development, inclusive finance, and infrastructure finance:

  1. Finance sector development, the mainstay of finance sector operations, includes developing diverse, efficient, and stable financial markets, institutions, and systems.
  2. Inclusive finance, which has the greatest impact on poverty alleviation, will deliver affordable financial services to low-income households and to small businesses and create a financial sector that provides access to everyone.
  3. Infrastructure finance, which complements ADB’s major business line and includes facilitating the efficient allocation of long-term finance to meet financing needs for infrastructure.

The review recommends measures to calibrate a response under these three key themes to increase and strengthen finance sector operations and its subsequent impact on all other sectors, industries, and economic activities.

It also calls for stronger capabilities and skills among ADB staff, and additional resources in operational areas of focus, including emerging and innovative areas such as digital, green, and disaster risk finance. Emphasis on these areas is a recognition of the demand in ADB’s developing member countries for increasingly multidimensional and complex sector support.

Read more


Results of ADB-supported Operations in the Finance Sector

Results achieved are aggregate amounts of outputs and outcomes from operations reported in project completion reports and extended annual review reports circulated for the year.

The table below shows the results of ADB-supported operations in the finance sector from 2010-2018.

Results Indicators

 9,974,734 microfinance loan accounts opened / end borrowers reached

9,974,734: The number of end borrowers; or, if not available, the number or estimate of microfinance loan accounts opened (regardless of amount in currency) over the course of the project. All those reached by microfinance lending or saving group activities of the project are counted, including participants in self-help groups. The definition of microfinance follows country conventions

 5,830,428 microfinance loan accounts opened / end borrowers reached, female

5,830,428: The number of end borrowers; or, if not available, the number or estimate of microfinance loan accounts opened (regardless of amount in currency) over the course of the project. All those reached by microfinance lending or saving group activities of the project are counted, including participants in self-help groups. The definition of microfinance follows country conventions.

 1,137,143 microfinance loan accounts opened / end borrowers reached, male

1,137,143: The number of end borrowers; or, if not available, the number or estimate of microfinance loan accounts opened (regardless of amount in currency) over the course of the project. All those reached by microfinance lending or saving group activities of the project are counted, including participants in self-help groups. The definition of microfinance follows country conventions.

 1,452,009 small and medium-sized enterprise loan accounts opened or end borrowers reached

1,452,009: Preferably number of end borrowers, but if not available, the number of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loan accounts opened (regardless of amount) over the course of the project. The calculation does not include equity operations for SMEs. The definition of SMEs follows the definition generally used in the country of the project.