• Participants of the fist Experts Group on Financial Inclusion in Brazil, May 2017
    Participants of the fist Experts Group on Financial Inclusion in Brazil, May 2017

AFI and BCB host First Experts Group on Financial Inclusion Policy (EGFIP) Meeting in the LAC region


11 June 2017 - The first meeting of Experts Group on Financial Inclusion Policy (EGFIP) for the Financial Inclusion Initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean (FILAC) was held from 6-7th June in Brasilia, Brazil. Co-hosted by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) and Banco Central Do Brasil (BCB), the meeting provided an opportunity for AFI member institutions to discuss the progress of the initiative since its’ inception. The meeting was attended by 22 representatives from 11 AFI member institutions.

Mr. Illan Goldfajn, Governor of BCB, delivered the opening remarks and noted several challenges to be faced, such as technological innovations applied to financial services and its consequences with regards to regulation, financial education and consumer protection. The reliability and accuracy of financial inclusion data should also be improved to ensure that the current situation can be properly assessed and the obstacles are identified at an earlier stage. Mr. Goldfajn applauded FILAC, as it is an organized effort to mitigate these challenges. He added that the peer-to-peer approach championed by the AFI network can advance public policies to promote economic and social development in the region.

“FILAC allows us to better understand the unique challenges in the region and in return, enables us to share our experiences to promote better policies. BCB is honored to help coordinate FILAC over the next three years. Rest assured that you will have full support from the BCB, as we will be observing the outcomes from EGFIP closely”.

Isaac Ferreira, BCB Deputy Governor and FILAC Chair, noted that the regional initiative was launched in 2016 to enhance the development of financial inclusion policies that are specifically tailored to the needs of the region. He stated that FILAC's vision is to promote inclusive and sustainable growth and poverty reduction through policies of sustainable financial inclusion in the LAC region.

The two-day meeting continued with presentations on the status of Digital Financial Services (DFS) in LAC and the criteria for grouping of country members to analyze the state of DFS in the region. Participants of EGFIP were also briefed on the developments of previous working group meetings, including the results from a workshop on interoperability and interconnectivity held in Paraguay last April. Members also discussed the potential variables for grouping countries to advance financial inclusion issues.Moving forward, the FILAC workplan will be adjusted to incorporate the new ideas and activities agreed during the meeting.