Tuesday, 18 June 2013, 11:30 a.m., Room Suessmuth
Some 2.7 billion people do not have access to formal financial services. They have no bank account, are excluded from formal money transfers, savings and insurance products, and have no access to loans to expand their businesses. Policy makers around the world, such as the G20 leaders, are committed to improving access to finance. They recognize the importance of financial inclusion for poverty alleviation and economic development.
How can financial inclusion support development? What are the challenges and what evidence is there concerning the positive impact of microfinance? What efforts are being taken to provide microfinance services in a responsible way? This workshop organized by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation will bring together a group of experts from various parts of the globe discuss these questions and share their views and perspectives with audience members. The workshop’s objective is to discuss the role of financial services with a social mandate in promoting economic growth and development.
Microfinance has recently been criticized for being too focused on commercial interests. The concept of microfinance has changed over the past few decades. Many microfinance institutions generate profits or at least cover their own costs. They pursue both commercial and social objectives. Nowadays microfinance encompasses much more than microcredit. Equally important are the opportunities to save, insure against risk and safely transfer money. Protecting clients has become more important, for example through transparent pricing and customer training and counseling. German development cooperation has been supporting responsible microfinance for many years. Governments and financial institutions across the world are making efforts to improve clients’ financial education and establishing adequate regulation of the microfinance market.
Microfinance is neither good nor bad, it is a tool. The workshop will discuss how it can be employed to promote development.
Microfinance Specialist, Donors and Investors, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, Paris, France
Managing Director, Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation, Bonn, Germany
Desk Officer for Financial Systems Development, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bonn, Germany
Manila, Marilyn M.
Director for the International Group, CARD MRI, San Pablo, Philippines
CEO, Uganda Finance Trust, Kampala, Uganda
Complete workshop on soundcloud: