Accord to boost financial inclusion
THE financial inclusion agenda to provide access to the "unbanked" group in the developing and emerging-market countries to the broad suite of financial services needs to ensure quality is not overlooked.
The Sasana Accord that will be announced by Bank Negara Malaysia and the Alliance of Financial Inclusion (AFI) today will build on the Maya Declaration towards achieving a truly inclusive financial system.
AFI executive director Dr Alfred Hannig said it will not only be a voice of the emerging markets and the developing world, but also a cooperation model to allow every voice to speak at the table.
So far, 43 countries have committed to develop financial inclusion strategies and another two are expected to announce their commitments here today.
Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the accord puts into "quantitiatve terms" the aspirations to be achieved.
"This will set targets and will be a reference point for us to monitor our progress as different countries at different stages of progress in achieving these goals."
Hannig said AFI is pushing for measureability of quality in the diverse landscape of approaches in some countries such as South America, where non-banking institutions are not yet allowed to issue electronic money, while in countries such as India, private agents are not allowed to handle cash-in-cash-out operations.
Amando Tetangco Jr, the governor at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the chair of the AFI Steering Committee, said in countries like the Philippines, the approach of financial inclusiveness is done through regulatory environment that balances financial stability, integrity and consumer protection.