The multi-year Financial Inclusion Action Plan approved by G-20 leaders at the November 2010 Seoul Summit recognizes the commitments of the global financial sector standards-setting bodies (SSBs) to “support financial inclusion” and encourages SSBs “to further explore . . . complementarities between financial inclusion and their own mandates.”
This call culminates a period of rapid development in global recognition of the importance of access to formal financial services for the billions of people around the world who currently lack adequate access—and a period of growing recognition of the critical role the relevant SSBs can play in closing the financial access gap. To support SSBs on this important subject, and to implement the Financial Inclusion Action Plan more generally, the G-20 launched the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), an inclusive platform for G-20 and non-G-20 countries as well as other relevant stakeholders committed to peer learning, knowledge sharing, policy advocacy, and coordination on financial inclusion.
In its first year, two projects have been undertaken on behalf of GPFI pursuant to the G-20 leaders’ call for engagement with SSBs: Five country case studies, prepared under the leadership of GPFI Implementing Partner the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), explore the application of SSBs’ standards and guidance at the country level in countries at the forefront of pursuing a financial inclusion policy agenda (Brazil, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, and South Africa) and this white paper, “Global Standard-Setting Bodies and Financial Inclusion for the Poor—Toward Proportionate Standards and Guidance,” prepared under the leadership of GPFI Implementing Partner the consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), raises awareness and frames issues to inform ongoing work by the five SSBs to integrate financial inclusion into standards and guidance that can be effectively applied at the country level. The Microinsurance Network, had a contributing role in the drafting of this white paper.
Both the country case studies and the white paper take stock of the accomplishments of SSBs to date and further steps SSBs are taking to foster a more enabling environment for financial inclusion. They also suggest further work related to the standards and guidance of SSBs—by SSBs, but also by GPFI and its stakeholders, and others—that can advance this shared objective.
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