Malaysia selected to be host country to AFI Network’s new headquarters


PORT OF SPAIN – The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) Steering Committee announced today that AFI’s permanent headquarters would be established in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The selection was disclosed during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the first day of the 2014 Global Policy Forum (GPF) being held this week in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) led the bid from Malaysia, which was ultimately chosen from a group of shortlisted candidates that also included strong proposals from Brazil, Mexico and Turkey.

The Sub-Committee on Host Country Evaluation reviewed a Request for Proposal from each nation, and provided a recommendation report for the AFI Steering Committee to make the final decision.

Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor at BNM, expressed her delight in the decision: “Bank Negara Malaysia is committed to the financial inclusion agenda and is honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with AFI and its membership in advancing the development and implementation of policies that will increase the access to financial services for the unbanked segment in the world.”

The entire AFI Network remains highly appreciative of the outstanding efforts put forth by the members from the host country candidates.

“This is an exciting time for AFI members, and the cause of financial inclusion,” said Alfred Hannig, Executive Director at AFI. “The development of our Network is representative of the positive impact financial inclusion is having around the world. As a permanent international organization, our members will be in an even stronger position to help the world’s unbanked through smart policy solutions.”

The announcement of a permanent home for the Network is only the latest stage in AFI’s evolution from being a preliminary project funded by key donors toward a fully independent institution—an idea that has always been fundamental to AFI’s organizational DNA and promoted by the Steering Committee since its first meeting in 2009, as well as endorsed by members.

The Sub-Committee on Independence is advising on a number of key areas, including governance and the membership fee structure, while other operations for independence continue to be implemented. AFI expects to become a fully independent entity by the end of 2015.