18 November 2015
NUKU’ALOFA, TONGA, 17 NOVEMBER 2015—The Alliance for Financial Inclusion’s (AFI) Experts Group for Financial Inclusion Policy (EGFIP), a technical group of the AFI Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI), convened on 17 November 2015 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. The meeting was co-hosted by AFI and the National Reserve Bank of Tonga (NRBT).
Twenty-four participants from PIRI’s seven member institutions, along with supporting partner the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP), policy experts from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), ACCION and University of New South Wales (UNSW) were in attendance.
At the opening of the technical group meeting, NBRT Board Chairman Mr. Steve Edwards said the National Reserve Bank of Tonga was committed to promoting financial inclusion initiatives. He added that improving access to affordable financial services and products as well as enhanced financial literacy and consumer protection policies contribute to job creation, poverty eradication and the reduction of a high reliance on external sources of income.
Mr. Edwards commended AFI and its Pacific Island Regional Initiative for providing a platform that allows for mutual learning, with sustainable high-level commitments to drive and create conditions that will lead to financial empowerment of all Pacific Islanders.
The EGFIP discussed the next steps for its three priority areas, including promoting access to credit and broader financial services, consumer protection, inclusive insurance, the collection of financial inclusion data to measure the outcome of these initiatives, as well as the enhancement of credit bureaus, representing steps in the correct direction to achieving the vision of ensuring appropriate financial services are widely accessed and used by all Pacific Islanders.
Following this meeting, members will participate in a three-day regulatory training on consumer protection.
About the Alliance for Financial Inclusion
The Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), www.afi-global.org, is a global peer-learning network of 124 policymaking and regulatory institutions from 95 developing and emerging countries working together to advance financial inclusion policy. AFI members represent over 85 percent of the more than two billion unbanked people, most of whom live in poverty. Follow us on Twitter @NewsAFI.
About the Pacific Islands Regional Initiative
The Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) was created in 2014 at the Global Policy Forum (GPF) in Trinidad and Tobago.
It was previously called the Pacific Islands Financial Inclusion Working Group (PIWG), and was originally formed in 2009 at the request of the central banks of Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste. Tonga joined in 2012.