BSP to fasttrack financial inclusion efforts

By , on January 12, 2015

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines). Wikipedia photo
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines). Wikipedia photo

MANILA – The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Monday said that they are working on fasttracking their efforts to decrease the number of unbanked population.

“Financial inclusion is a strong advocacy of the BSP… To tie the BSP efforts with those of other government agencies and the private sector, we are now working on a National Financial Inclusion Strategy, which we hope to launch this year,” said BSP Governor Armando Tetangco.

Recently, the Central Bank started an Inclusive Finance Steering Committee that will help them come up with said strategy.

Financial inclusion national strategies are often used by economies to improve the reach of financial services. This, in turn, pave way for more economic activities especially in far-flung areas.

BSP is always trying to push for financial inclusion. In 1997, the bank developed the National Strategy for Microfinance that increased financial services providers.

“Our adoption of the principle of proportionate regulation has encouraged an operating environment where innovation can flourish, which capitalizes on technology, and enables market-based solutions. This operating environment has resulted in a greater reach in previously unbanked areas,” said Tetangco.

He added, “For instance, with alternative access points such as microbanking offices and other financial service providers including e-money agents, pawnshops, remittance agents and money changers, the percentage of cities and municipalities that remains unserved is now down to 12.6 percent from 37 percent at end-2012.”

Tetangco further noted out that the regulations established by BSP helped in catering the needs of small savers and businesses.

Meanwhile, the BSP also has learning activities in some of the provinces in the country as well as information campaigns overseas.

“Our financial education campaigns cover specific needs of students, professionals and families of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers),” Tetangco stressed.

Moreover, BSP has made use of a formal consumer protection framework for banks.

“The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) named the Philippines as the top country in Asia and third in the world with the most conducive environment for financial inclusion,” he said.