2017-12-16

AFI members from Asia-Pacific share knowledge on their progress in financial inclusion

AFI member institutions including Bangladesh Bank, Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan, National Bank of Cambodia, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Reserve Bank of India, Central Bank of Samoa and Bank of Thailand shared the progress made by their countries in advancing financial inclusion and the effect it had on the economic growth, income inequality and poverty reduction — during the regional capacity building seminar, “Financial inclusion in Asia-Pacific: The way forward’. The seminar was organized by the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Siem Reap on 7-8 December 2017.

Among numerous topics discussed, the participants that included more than 50 central bankers, financial regulators, ministry of finance officials and development partners from 14 countries in the Asia-Pacific, deliberated on the role of FinTech in advancing financial inclusion and the impact it has on financial integrity, consumer protection and financial stability.

FinTech helps expand financial inclusion and regulatory authorities need to understand that risks to stability and integrity can be effectively managed without stifling innovation, and trust maintained in an evolving financial system. The participants examined the role of regulatory “sandboxes” as a way to allow the innovative technological developments, while ensuring that consumers are treated fairly, and their personal information is adequately protected.

The seminar concluded with the call for further collaboration, knowledge exchange and peer learning.   

High financial inclusion in Asia-Pacific region could enhance further economic growth and contribute to reduction of income inequality and poverty rates, according to preliminary results of IMF’s research on Asia Pacific data, shared during the seminar.

Learn more about how digital finance is advancing financial inclusion in Asia-Pacific.