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geneva meeting

24 November 2014 – The Philippine delegation to the United Nations Expert Meeting on the “Impact of Access to Financial Services, Including by Highlighting Remittances on Development” held in Geneva from November 12 to 14, emphasized the importance of “Financial Inclusion” as a means for development. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which convened the Expert Meeting, invited Ms. Pia Roman-Tayag, head of the Inclusive Finance Advocacy of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to speak on the topic.

The Philippines deems access to financial services as important for every household and business. Ms. Roman-Tayag highlighted in her presentation that access to financial services makes a positive impact on people’s lives. Given this view, she said that “The BSP has taken deliberate measures to promote financial inclusion in the Philippines. As the central monetary authority and banking system regulator, the BSP recognizes that financial inclusion is a worthy policy objective that can be pursued alongside the promotion of financial system stability and integrity.”

She added that the BSP’s definition of financial inclusion is “a state wherein there is effective access to a wide range of financial services for all.”

The BSP has undertaken a strategy to improve financial inclusion such as through financial education and consumer protection. There is also an advocacy campaign through which linkages are built with public and private sector stakeholders to increase awareness and generate support for financial inclusion.

Other topics discussed at the meeting centered on the relationship between technological innovation and access to financial services. Mobile technology, such as smart phones, makes it easier for a majority of the population to access financial services, which would allow for greater financial inclusion. Developments in this field are being closely monitored to see how the majority of the population in developing countries, which still have limited access to financial services, may benefit. END

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