The World Bank launched the Financial Inclusion Support Framework (FISF) -- an important initiative recognized by the G20 Ministers of Finance.
“We will bring our knowledge, expertise and financing to bear in support of governments and regulators, leading to reforms that will unlock private sector investment and innovation,” said World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati at the FISF launch event. The World Bank Group is ready to take up the challenge of supporting countries in reaching their financial inclusion targets, she said, as they seek to accelerate progress toward reducing the number of people – now at 2.5 billion – who lack access to financial services.
More than 40 countries have made headline commitments to expand financial inclusion, through such initiatives as the G20 Financial Inclusion Peer Learning Program and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. The objective of the FISF is to accelerate the expansion of financial inclusion by enabling the achievement of these country commitments and targets.
The FISF acts as a coordination platform for all partners in supporting countries’ financial inclusion efforts. “This Framework will help promote closer coordination and shared financial inclusion efforts with regional development banks, bilateral donors and other partners, such as the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and CGAP,” said Ms. Indrawati.
The Netherlands is providing $25 million in funding for the FISF. Klaas Knot, the President of the Netherlands Central Bank, said, “The program we are launching is the result of a global consensus in the G20 to promote financial inclusion. Increased access to financial services will provide households and enterprises with the opportunity to derive greater benefits from their participation in economic activities. In addition to our financial contribution for the FISF, we also plan to involve Dutch financial institutions, which have considerable relevant experience in sustainable banking and in emerging markets.”
The Executive Director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Alfred Hannig, welcomed the FISF on behalf of the 87 member countries of the AFI network, noting that the FISF can support them in achieving their financial inclusion targets and commitments.