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Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at WSBI World Congress

Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at WSBI World Congress

​​​​​​Two-day event explores retail banking in a globalised world with policymakers, banking experts, WSBI members

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NEW DELHI, 15 November 2018 – India’s Finance Minister inaugurated the two-day 25th World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks held in Delhi. Shri Arun Jaitley, Honourable Union Finance Minister, Government of India, gave a keynote address to an audience of  WSBI member savings and retail banks, banking policymakers and banking industry experts who are exploring the challenges faced by savings and retail banks around the world and how those institutions can better serve communities in a globalised world.

Held at the Taj Palace Hotel in the Indian capital, the audience during the opening session also heard from State Bank of India Chairman Shri Rajnish Kumar, NABARD Chairman Dr Harsh Kumar Bhanwala (pictured, left), along with Shri Raji​v Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.

Under the theme “Sustainable Retail Banking – Making globalization inclusive for all”, the event features speakers and panellists who come from WSBI’s membership as well as experts from throughout the banking world who will offer attendees their insight during high-impact panel discussions. Under that theme, outgoing WSBI President Heinrich Haasis provided a summary of achievements made during his six-year association presidency, including inroads made toward a WSBI pledge to provide “an account for everybody”, which was outlined in a 2012 WSBI declaration in Marrakesh. Haasis said: “Since our World Bank Universal Financial Access 2020 commitment made in 2015, WSBI members have added 340 million accounts for 234 million people into the formal financial system thanks to their efforts.”

WSBI President Isidro Fainé, gave an acceptance speech as incoming WSBI president. He was followed by fellow Spaniard Javier Solana, former EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy and NATO Secretary General.

Opening day sessions followed, tackling three areas via panel discussions. The first, titled “Globalisation: the promise of a golden dawn or dystopia in the making?”, examined how WSBI members, as financial institutions that are focused on their local community, could bring the benefits of globalisation to the local level  by acting as an interface that connects these communities to global perspectives and global growth opportunities.​ The second session, “Two worlds no longer apart – rural and local development for growth in harmony”,​ looked at how savings and retail banks take the best globalisation and digitisation to ensure their profitability while at the same time creating benefits for people and the planet. ​The third session focused on the theme “Digitisation as a tool for financial inclusion and customer proximity.”​

​Outgoing President Heinrich Haasis, who will now serve as WSBI Honourary President concluded: “Policymakers acknowledge that WSBI member savings banks nourish the SMEs that oftentimes export their products abroad. Members also help households at local level too through savings and loans. The savings and retail banking model helps make globalisation inclusive for all.”


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About the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI)

Helping savings and retail banks thrive, WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2016). WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalization that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone. 


About savings and retail banking in India

Financial institutions in the world's second-most populous country have done impressive work during the last few years to address financial inclusion. Among those institutions are three WSBI members: The State Bank of India; The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development; and the National Savings Institute. The trio have made enormous progress in financial inclusion in a short timeframe, as hundreds of millions of Indians are now part of the formal financial sector. They achieved this through efficient use of technology and clever leveraging of outreach.​

Financial inclusion