Regulatory Environments for Youth Savings in the Developing World

policy paper | October 09, 2014

Despite the potential benefits of facilitating access to youth-owned and –operated accounts, legal requirements can create unnecessary hurdles that prevent these accounts from flourishing in the marketplace. Creating a supportive regulatory environment for youth savings may require identifying specific barriers and proactively crafting policy to overcome them. The legal vulnerabilities of youth in many countries, particularly minors and girls, coupled with this population’s often disadvantageous economic, social, and political position dictates that we tread carefully. On the other hand, policy solutions must address the vastly diverse realities of youth’s lives in the developing world, their demand for rights, and their socio-economic contributions. This paper focuses on analyzing policies aimed at encouraging commercial savings products for youth while balancing the need to protect banks and young customers from potential losses.