ISLAMABAD - Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Thursday said lack of financial inclusion is keeping masses poor.

Relationship between masses and financial institutions is getting weak which is hurting banks as well as the economy, he said.

In a statement issued here, he said that resilient Pakistani banking industry braved the global crisis of 2008 but it is feeling the pinch of withholding tax imposed on banking transactions.

Mian Shahid said that according to a report of World Bank the number of accountholders have dropped from 10.3 percent in 2011 to 8.7 percent in 2014.

On the other hand 45 percent of the population in south Asian countries has a bank account, a ration which was 32.2 percent in 2011.

The bank report said that number of bank account holders swelled by 700 million from 2011 to 2014 pushing number of account holders on global level to 62 percent.

On the other hand, financial inclusion has reduced the number of unbanked global population by 20 percent to two billion people.

Mian Shahid said that around 1.3 billion people in developing world are still using cash to pay utility bills and school fees etc. A large number of poor, especially women remain unbanked which kept them poor.