The majority of people in Sub-Saharan Africa does not have a basic bank account and are financially excluded from mainstream financial services. This paper examines factors that drive geographic exclusion of banking services to rural communities and households’ demand for a basic bank account in Ghana. Using rural community based and household survey datasets, the study finds that banks’ decisions to place a branch in a community are positively influenced by elements as the market size, the level of infrastructure such as energy and communication facilities in the area, market activeness but are negatively influenced by the general level of insecurity associated, for example, with crime, conflict, natural disasters. Conversely, households’ demand for a bank account appears to be strongly driven by both market and non-market factors such as price, illiteracy, ethno-religion, dependency ratio, employment and wealth status as well as proximity to a bank.
JEL classification: D14, D91, G21, C35
Keywords: Financial Exclusion, Banks’ Location Decision, Bank Deposit Account, Ghana/Sub-Saharan Africa