Enabling financial inclusion is part of WSBI-ESBG's DNA and remains core to its mission.
Financial inclusion is an important policy objective for WSBI and its members, as illustrated by the Marrakech Declaration: "An Account for Everyone", adopted by its membership at the 2012 WSBI Congress in Marrakech.
Three years later, the WSBI 2015 Washington Declaration was released, moving this endeavour further by taking into account the importance and the influence of digitisation to increase financial inclusion.
As outlined in the Washington Declaration, WSBI also committed to the World Bank Group’s Universal Financial Access (UFA) 2020 Goal. At its meeting in 2015, the WSBI General Assembly announced its aim to reach 1.7 billion customers and 400 million new transaction accounts by the end of 2020, based on the current membership.
In addition, WSBI has also successfully intervened with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in 2010 to convince them to adapt their original anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules to a more adapted risk based approach (RBA) based on the national context and to risks posed by transactions. To help reach more low-income people and promote the goal of financial inclusion, WSBI is represented on the FATF RBA project group.
Digitisation: a path to financial inclusion
WSBI sees digitisation as an opportunity to reinforce its profound commitment to customer proximity to give better access to basic financial services. Digitisation is an essential support in reaching out to the two billion people worldwide, who currently have little or no access to financial services. It recognises that achieving the World Bank Group's Universal Financial Access (UFA) 2020 Goal requires a collective effort and we are pleased to be part of the initial Coalition of Partners.
To better embrace the digital wave, WSBI-ESBG continuously seeks ways to foster more fluid exchange of information and best practice among members, keeping in mind the pressing need for global financial access and inclusion.
ESBG raises the financial inclusion bar in Europe
ESBG agrees with the aim of European policymakers to raise the level of financial inclusion among all citizens. The specific reasons for
financial exclusion are manifold due to different cultural and historical backgrounds, and economic and social circumstances. ESBG members have considered increasing the level of financial inclusion in their regions integral to their overall mission.
Why it's important
Financial inclusion has become one of the most important international policy issues to help address social-economic development and economic growth, especially in the aftermath of financial crisis. The policy discussion has grown, with financial inclusion being weaved into the Seoul G20 agenda in 2010 as well as a World Bank initiative launched in 2013 "to provide universal financial access to all working-age adults by 2020."