FEATURE STORY

Peru Launches National Financial Inclusion Strategy to Expand Financial Inclusion

August 5, 2015


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National Financial Inclusion Strategy launching ceremony in Tarma, Junín on July 2015.

Photo Credit: Peru's Minister of Development and Social Inclusion

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Peru launched a National Financial Inclusion Strategy to accelerate progress towards universal financial access and inclusion
  • Peru is among the 25 priority countries where the World Bank Group is focusing its scaled-up support to financial access and inclusion
  • Full financial inclusion is the ultimate objective of the World Bank Group’s goal to achieve Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020

August 5, 2015 - Only 29% of Peruvian adults have an account at a formal financial institution, according to the 2014 Global Findex. This despite the fact that the Global Microscope places Peru as the country with the best enabling environment for microfinance and financial inclusion.

To close this gap, Peru is stepping up its commitment to financial inclusion.

In July 2015, the country launched a National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which commits the government to ensuring that at least 75% of adults have access to a transaction account by 2021.

Why does financial inclusion matter? With no access to formal financial services it’s difficult for people to build up savings or buy insurance, which makes households more vulnerable to potential risks and shocks. Also, small businesses find it difficult to build assets or obtain financing to increase productivity, expand or hire more people.

Financial inclusion is among the World Bank Group's top priorities to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, since financial access underpins inclusive economic growth and enables people to have more control over their finances.

Ensuring adults have access to a transaction account as a first step toward financial inclusion, where people can make use of appropriate financial services, including savings, payments, credit and insurance, is the cornerstone of the World Bank Group’s goal to achieve Universal Financial Access (UFA) by 2020, which calls for  providing financial access for the remaining 2 billion unbanked adults worldwide.

Financial inclusion has also been identified as one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a set of targets that will guide the international development agenda over the next decade.

Peru is one of the 25 priority countries where the World Bank Group is focusing its financial inclusion efforts.

The country’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy is a significant step up toward this goal, and is in line with the World Bank Group’s UFA2020 vision.

Research also shows that countries that have invested in devising and implementing a national financial inclusion strategy (NFIS) have been more successful and effective in reaching set targets. On average, there is a 10% increase in the percentage of adults with an account at a formal financial institution for countries  that launched an NFIS after 2007, whereas the increase is only 5% for those countries that have not launched an NFIS.

Peru escalated its commitment toward financial access in early 2014 with the establishment of a Multisectoral Financial Inclusion Commission to coordinate efforts among relevant stakeholders. With the World Bank’s support, the Commission then designed and formulated the country’s National Financial Inclusion Strategy. The strategy is the result of extensive engagements and consultations with government agencies and private sector stakeholders.


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National Financial Inclusion Strategy launching ceremony in Tarma, Junín on July 2015.

Photo Credit: Peru's Minister of Development and Social Inclusion

" Having a savings or transactional account helps families build assets, manage risk, reduce food insecurity and gain access to a range of other services. "

Alberto Rodriguez

World Bank Country Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.

To lay the ground to approve and launch the NFIS, the Peruvian government, the World Bank and the IMF organized a Financial Inclusion Conference  in June 2015 as part of the Road to Lima events.

Then in July, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala Tasso unveiled and adopted the NFIS by a Supreme Decree in Tarma, Junin.

An inclusive financial system is key to reducing inequality and creating social inclusion, ensuring that “all [citizens] can save and access their savings accounts, and receive their payments through cards and not cash in hand,” said President Humala.

Peru’s NFIS strategy promotes the use of electronic transaction instruments, access to savings, insurance and financing, as well as consumer protection and financial education programs. 

By implementing the NFIS, Peru has set an ambitious roadmap to expand and accelerate financial access and inclusion to 50% of adults by 2018 and then to at least 75% of adults by 2021.

 “With the enactment of the NFIS, Peru will expand and deepen access to financial services, particularly for people with low incomes. We are pleased to have contributed to the design and launch of this strategy, which will advance reforms to expand financial inclusion," said Alberto Rodriguez, World Bank Country Director for Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela. "Having a savings or transactional account helps families build assets, manage risk, reduce food insecurity and gain access to a range of other services," he added.

Going forward, Peru and the World Bank will continue to collaborate on implementing the country’s ambitious financial inclusion goals.

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