(L-R): Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr., Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Governor Jwala Rambaran, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz and AFI Executive Director Alfred Hannig
BSP Governor Tetangco opening the Global Policy Forum
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco, Jr. addressed an audience of over 400 central bank governors, supervisors, regulators, ministers and development partners during the 2014 Global Policy Forum (GPF) of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) at Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. AFI is the leading global network of policy makers and regulators committed to financial inclusion with over 120 members from 95 countries. The powerful proposition of financial inclusion is what brings the network together - that access to financial services enables previously unserved individuals and small firms to manage their financial lives, manage risks and take advantage of economic opportunities. AFI has established a platform for peer learning and knowledge exchange to develop solutions that can help address financial exclusion in various jurisdictions. The Bangko Sentral is among the first members of AFI, a testament to its commitment to financial inclusion and the many steps it has already taken toward this end.
Governor Tetangco in his speech emphasized that aside from commitment and cooperation, one key driver of the network's success is the concrete results or impact of policy solutions in bringing more people in the financial system. He cited five examples from the many policy solutions within the network which were established only in the last 5 years that have brought 62 million people in the formal financial system in these five countries. This includes the over 25 million Filipinos who now have access to a transactional account following the development of an electronic money policy framework by the BSP. These transactional accounts can be the necessary first step in gaining access to a wider range of services such as deposits and loans. This is very significant for the Philippines which the World Bank has estimated that only 26% of adults have access to a deposit account and 10.5% to a formal loan.
Recognizing these gains and the BSP's continued commitment, AFI honored the BSP with two awards during the event - an honorary award to Governor Tetangco for his excellent stewardship of the network during his two year Chairmanship and a Maya Declaration awards for the tangible financial inclusion commitments that were achieved by the BSP. The Maya Declaration is the first ever global commitment of individual countries which was launched in Riviera Maya Mexico during the 2011 GPF. The G20 has adopted the Maya Declaration platform in its financial inclusion work.
Financial inclusion has gained prominence as a global policy agenda as there is an estimated 2.5 billion people with no access to formal financial services. Global players such as the G20 and Global Standard Setting Bodies such as the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Financial Action Task Force are recognizing that financial inclusion can complement other policy objectives of financial stability and integrity.