Abstract: Financial development disproportionately boosts incomes of the poorest quintile and reduces income inequality. About 40\% of the long-run impact of financial development on the income growth of the poorest quintile is the result of reductions in income inequality, while 60\% is due to the impact of financial development on aggregate economic growth. Furthermore, financial development is associated with a drop in the fraction of the population living on less than $ 1 a day, a result which holds when conditioning on average growth. These findings emphasize the importance of the financial system for the poor.