Policymakers, financial education experts kick off World Savings Day celebrations in Brussels
>> Visit: 2017 World Savings Day website
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BRUSSELS, 26 October 2017 – Policymakers, banking policy and financial education experts took part today in a special World Savings Day celebration in Brussels hosted by the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI).
Held at De Warande Club, attendees explored the need for savings, financial education and financial inclusion around the world. It also placed savings and retail banks centre stage, demonstrating the important role they play for households and the real economy.
Messr. Kris Peeters (pictured right), Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy and Employment, gave the keynote address, echoing the 2017 theme: Our future starts with savings. Florence Raineix, Chief Executive of FNCE – the Fédération nationale des Caisses d'Epargne – in France, gave an address on its Finance & Pédagogie, nationwide financial education programme.
Panel discussion: Financial education done by banks, NGOs, authorities
A panel discussion followed (see image right) on financial inclusion and financial education by banks, banking authorities and non-profit bodies around the world. CYFI Managing Director Wessel Van Kampen (centre) and Jean-Paul Servais (seated at right), Chairman of the Belgian Financial Services and Markets shared their thoughts on financial education. WSBI Director Ian Radcliffe (at left) presented from the association's lens, including efforts by its members to contribute to the World Bank's Universal Financial Access 2020 strategic goal.
World Savings Day: A rich history with global reach
World Savings Day has been celebrated for more than 90 years by WSBI and its members. Member banks taking part include Germany, Austria, Italy, Botswana, the Dominican Republic and Thailand to name a few.
The event also marked a moment to explore the current low interest rates, which are an untimely blow to savers as low rates penalize thrift, especially in developed countries.
De Noose added: “Since monetary policymakers in Europe and elsewhere lowered the interest rates during the crisis, you could argue that savers have paid the price."
Why saving is important and SMEs
On a macro-economic level, savings are a source of funding for banks in the form of deposits. Those deposits then get converted into loans for SMEs, for
example, when they look to expand or retool. In Europe alone, WSBI members provide a third of SME financing valued at €500 billion. On global level, financing small businesses and microfinance helps WSBI and its member savings and retail banks reach United Nations sustainable development goals.
De Noose (pictured at right) concluded: “World Savings Day helps shine a light on thrift, which has the power to spur growth. Savings deposited at locally focused banks are transformed each day into loans for people who want to improve their lives and grow their business."
To learn more about World Savings Day, visit www.world-savings-day.org
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About the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI)
WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $14tn and serving one billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2014). 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. Learn more at: www.wsbi-esbg.org
World Savings Day and WSBI
For more than 90 years, WSBI and its members have spearheaded annually a day dedicated to promoting the virtue of people saving money. Celebrated at the end of October, World Savings Day was the first initiative of WSBI. For WSBI and its members, the day places focus on the stabilising role played by savings and retail banking in the overall financial system. It evokes some of the ethos of local banks: responsible partners in communities, close to the customer, serving households, small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) and local authorities. Learn more at www.world-savings-day.org