Financial inclusion has been recognised as one of the most powerful tools in the fight against poverty. However, despite the success achieved by financial institutions in providing services to millions of excluded people throughout Asia-Pacific, the region is still home to an estimated 1.2 billion people who do not have access to a bank account or formal financial services. The creation of inclusive financial systems remains critical for both social and economic progress.
While responses continue to focus on access to finance, income generation, and the fundamentals of saving, the inclusive finance ecosystem is evolving rapidly. Globalisation, digitisation and urbanisation are influencing the many programmes being developed by governments, private financial services providers, microfinance institutions and NGOs.
What are the key measures required to accelerate financial inclusion? How can these efforts achieve maximum impact? What role can financial services providers play in driving economic progress? How is the rapid spread of digital technology helping to bridge the gap between financial services and the larger ecosystems of cities, markets and government? These issues and more will be discussed at the Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit, a major new initiative being launched by the Citi Foundation, the Foundation for Development Cooperation and the Financial Times, in partnership with the Banking with the Poor Network.
The Summit consolidates two leading forums, the Citi-FT Financial Education Summit and the Asia Microfinance Forum, to create a new platform that reflects the integration of capability, access and other key elements that can deliver impact and scale in inclusive finance. The event will be a catalyst for debate, best practice, knowledge exchange and partnerships among more than 500 practitioners, policy-makers and other stakeholders seeking to achieve significantly greater financial inclusion in the region.
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