Members commit to help narrow global socio-economic inequality gap
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NEW DELHI, 16 November 2018 – Savings and retail banks commit themselves to help bridge the socio-economic inequality gap among people around the globe, WSBI members pledged today. Outlined in the association's New Delhi Declaration, WSBI member banks from some 80 countries affirm that they will achieve this by including a maximum number of people into the formal economy and financial system.
Agreed during WSBI statutory meetings held yesterday in the Indian capital, the two-page declaration outlines a trio of public policy areas to help savings and retail banks thrive. The first is a call for adapted regulation, whereby international and national policymakers should adapt banking rules around the uniquely designed, regionally focused savings and retail banking model. WSBI argues in the declaration that this model is geared towards the local economic and financial environment on the ground, which takes on less risk than internationally active financial institutions. Adapted regulation and supervision of WSBI member financial institutions would ensure their essential role to finance the real economy is not hampered by unnecessary rules.
The declaration also spells out ways to avoid counter-productive consequences around de-risking. It outlines an urgent need for international regulatory institutions to re-consider damage caused to savings and retail banks by some aspects of de-risking rules. Under the rules, those banks struggle greatly to conduct the basic task of linking up with banks in other countries and offer local economies where they serve a gateway to the global economy. WSBI and its members note in the declaration that rules should protect citizens from the harmful effects of a globalised financial system. Rules should not hinder banks from forging among themselves normal business relations.
Another policy ask in the triennial statement focuses on more ways to open up local investment sources. International financial institutions that are part of or associated to the Bretton Woods institutions should work now, rather than later, with locally rooted retail banks to further unleash financing for local economic development projects that spur economic growth and deepen social cohesion.
Outgoing President Heinrich Haasis concluded: “The declaration spotlights how savings and retail banks help communities flourish in a globalised world. WSBI members do this by nourishing the SMEs that oftentimes export their products abroad. Our members help households at local level too through savings and loans. Our model helps make globalisation inclusive for all."
The declaration was unveiled during the two-day 25th World Congress of Savings and Retail Banks held today and yesterday in New Delhi. Through the Congress declaration, the association of 108 member banks and associations – located on all continents – looks to share with the policymaking world how regionally focused, responsible retail banking help people in a globalised world. 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 share with attendees their insight during high-impact panel discussions.
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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.