WSBI Members gathered in the city of San Salvador at the kind invitation of Fedecrédito to discuss at its statutory meetings and in workshops how new realities within the financial sector affect the savings and retail banking model.
At its 18th Board of Directors and 21st General Assembly meetings, WSBI members discussed current global policy challenges and prepared themselves for the upcoming G20 Summit in November. They stressed once more that regulations need to include the proportionality principle or what is called 'tiered regulation' in the U.S. – meaning preventing 'one size fits all' rules and adapting regulation to the realities of different banking models.
In various workshops members exchanged ideas on how to use data from new sources in new ways, making it possible to lend to clients that lack financial histories and to forecast the propensity of existing customers and markets to save. As digitalisation is on the march, another workshop explored new person-to-person mobile services. A site visit to one of Fedecrédito's agents in San Salvador followed by a session looking at the pros&cons of agent networks in achieving greater financial inclusion allowed for an exchange of views on sustainability aspects of agent networks to the benefit of both the customer and the bank.
The evening's events included an opening dinner with keynote speeches from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
The statutory meetings were preceded by a gathering of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Group (GRULAC) where members from the region discussed their upcoming interactions with regional banking and policy stakeholders and where they decided to focus their efforts on "Digital Banking" as a kick-off topic to deepen knowledge within the newly created GRULAC working group on innovation for financial inclusion.
The variety of meetings in San Salvador showed once more that the WSBI membership is an ideal opportunity to exchange information and experiences about financial regulations and challenges for the savings and retail banks. This is one of the concrete advantages of being part of WSBI as it allows members to strengthen their own position, develop business ideas, make new contacts and continue to be the main providers of regional and responsible finance.
Holding meetings in El Salvador, at the kind invitation of Fedecrédito, has been the perfect illustration of the WSBI spirit that combines a sense of responsibility with an open-minded approach to modernity. Indeed, Fedecrédito has been close to its clients, to its region and to its ideal of bringing retail banking services to all and that since its creation 70 years ago. The pioneering spirit of Fedecrédito is obvious: this WSBI member has an innovative approach to extending access to finance to as many people as possible, with technical innovations in the field of ATMs but also with a groundbreaking approach to agent banking, backed up by a solid technology. It was thus of high interest to WSBI to visit El Salvador and to allow members to gain new ideas and exchange knowledge between themselves.