BRUSSELS, 3 August 2016 – WSBI welcomes the growing consensus that improving financial inclusion is a key step towards global economic development, as witnessed also by the linkage of “financial inclusion” by the G20 Chinese Presidency with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In effect, financial inclusion is considered to be a key element of each country’s endeavour to realise sustainable development, and it is one of the key drivers for poverty eradication, which constitutes the top priority of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
WSBI and its members have a strong history and tradition of active involvement in financial inclusion. They are convinced that the adoption of a digitized banking universe can help savings and retail banks achieve their longstanding commitment to financial inclusion. Accordingly, WSBI welcomes the
Chinese G20 Presidency decision to mandate the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) to work on a set of high-level principles for action on digital financial inclusion. The latter should guide country-level actions to harness digital financial services and delivery mechanisms to safely expand access and usage of financial services for underserved market segments.
WSBI does, however, wish to emphasise that the digitisation of financial services presents policymakers and regulators with as many challenges as it does for the banking industry. Digital financial services raise specific risk and trust factors and traditional responses may not be adequate in this new world.
Accordingly, WSBI calls on stakeholders, policy-makers and regulators to provide an enabling environment that boosts financial inclusion, rather than hampering it. Proportionate regulation is also required in order to enable the various actors involved in financial inclusion to provide access to finance to the masses in a sustainable manner, also in remote areas. Regulatory arbitrage should be eliminated to secure a level playing field.
>> See the WSBI Intitutional Positions for G20 decision makers (.pdf)