BSP puts up center for financial inclusion

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has established an advocacy and learning center as part of its commitment to financial inclusion.

The Center for Learning and Inclusion Advocacy (CLIA) under the Office of the Governor will ensure the financial system caters to all market segments and that financial consumers are adequately informed and protected.

It is tasked with creating a policy and regulatory environment that enables the private sector to deliver innovative and responsive financial products and services in a safe, sound and sustainable manner.

The establishment of the center will also ensure that financial consumers acquire the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions and are able to enjoy the full benefits of their financial access.

The CLIA will build effective partnerships and public-private sector cooperation toward broad-based and inclusive growth through the implementation of the national strategy for financial inclusion.

In 2007, the BSP was one of the first central banks in the world to establish a unit dedicated to financial inclusion. Today, 47 countries implementing a national strategy have a financial inclusion unit or coordinating body leading its implementation.

“The CLIA aims to build on this momentum and, through its more consolidated approach, solidify and scale these gains. It will work toward a basic and concrete objective for all Filipinos to have an account in a formal financial institution, as a cornerstone of their relationship with the formal financial system,” the BSP said.

It added targeted efforts would also be undertaken to focus on strategic sectors like the agriculture and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sectors as well as in efforts that promise greater reach such as digital channels and financial technology.

Institutions including the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) have cited the Philippines as a global leader for financial inclusion.

The results of these efforts have been evident in the number of small businesses and individuals now enjoying formal financial services as nearly two million microenterprises which previously relied on informal lenders are now enjoying a range of financial services from banks.

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