23 June 2021
ULAANBAATAR/KUALA LUMPUR (23 June 2021) – Mongolia’s Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) are co-hosting two days of virtual meetings, during which FRC Chairperson Bayarsaikhan Dembereldash will assume the chair of the global network’s Eastern Europe & Central Asia Policy Initiative (ECAPI).
In his new role, FRC Chairperson Bayarsaikhan Dembereldash replaces Central Bank of Armenia Deputy Governor Vakhtang Abrahamyan, who led the regional initiative for two years. The official handover took place during the region’s 7th Experts Group on Financial Inclusion Policy on 23 June 2021, a bi-annual gathering focused on providing feedback and updates on progress in meeting ECAPI’s ongoing financial inclusion deliverables and planning for the year ahead.
“The FRC commits to bring equal financial access and enhance financial literacy in the region,” said FRC Chairperson Bayarsaikhan Dembereldash. “In order to achieve mutual goals, the FRC focuses on building consensus and promoting practical cooperation among member institutions.”
As chair of ECAPI, FRC will play a crucial role in engaging with other AFI member institutions in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and bringing attention to valuable financial inclusion efforts in the region. Last year, spearheaded by ECAPI’s outgoing chair, the regional initiative produced three reports – on credit, financial education and a financial competency matrix –, that brought increased awareness of national and local experiences in Armenia.
“ECAPI has made tremendous progress and important contributions to the network despite of being relatively a young regional initiative,” said AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig.
He added that several important knowledge products, including on interoperable regional payment systems, financial competency matrix for children and youth, a regional framework on electronic Know Your Customer and electronic identification and supervising the outsourcing of digital services, will be presented during the ECAPI meeting.
“I am confident that this important work on knowledge products will lead to an enhanced focus to advance the implementation of ECAPI’s core financial inclusion objectives, as set by the leaders of the member institutions, and also showcase the region’s leadership in the network.”
During the meeting of experts, all seven members of ECAPI provided updates on the progress of financial inclusion within their jurisdictions by focusing on policy changes, reforms and new initiatives, including in responses to and a recovery from COVID-19.
ECAPI is comprised of Agency for Regulation and Development of the Financial Market of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Central Bank of Armenia, Central Bank of Russia, Central Bank of Uzbekistan, FRC, National Bank of Republic of Belarus and National Bank of Tajikistan.
Sessions held the following day aim to gather insight from developed countries and private sector partners on digital financial services and their role in fostering financial literacy in rural areas and for small businesses. Panelists will include AFI member institutions that span the global network, including Bank of Ghana and Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas, as well as external partners, such as non-bank financial institution Home Credit and European Central Bank. Delegates from National Bank of Kyrgyz Republic, National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia and Bank of Albania are also joining as observers to experience the regional cooperation on financial inclusion initiatives in EECA region through the ECAPI platform.
Global trends and innovations will be explored as well as crucial topics for the region, such as emerging shifts in supervisory approaches driven by regulatory technology and supervisory technology, also known as RegTech and SupTech, and ways to foster effective solutions.
A roundtable event for the heads of ECAPI members will be held later in the year.
AFI’s Europe Representative Office (ERO) in Luxembourg is providing enhanced and tailored support to AFI members in EECA region to advance their national and shared regional priorities. This includes enabling policy innovation and peer-to-peer learning across the AFI network, with developed country peers and partners in the region and beyond on convergence policy topics that are of high relevance to AFI members and the European community. Through the ERO, AFI is also strengthening cooperation with Standard Setting Bodies and Europe’s financial policymaking and regulatory authorities, as well as supporting AFI members in the region contribute to 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
In line with AFI’s regionalization and decentralization strategy, the ERO is enhancing global dialogue further afield in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab Region, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.
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About Financial Regulatory Commission (FRC)
FRC is one of Mongolia’s two financial regulators and is mandated to supervise and regulate the non-bank sector. Established in 2006, it regulates areas including the insurance and securities markets, real estate agents, dealers of precious metals and stones and participants of the microfinance sector. Based on statutory objectives and tasks, the FRC promotes transparency and fair competition in the non-bank financial sector, and in the greater interest of the public and financial market’s clients.
FRC has been a member of AFI since 2010, with its chairperson acting as a board member of the network (2017-2021) and vice chair of ECAPI (2020-2021). During the region’s 7th Experts Group on Financial Inclusion Policy on 23 June 2021, the FRC assumed the chair of ECAPI for 2021-2023. www.frc.mn
About Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI)
AFI is the world’s leading organization on financial inclusion policy and regulation. Currently, 100 member institutions make up the AFI network including central banks, ministries of finance and other financial policymaking or regulatory institutions from 88 developing countries and emerging markets. AFI empowers policymakers to increase the access and usage of quality financial services for the underserved through sustainable and inclusive policies and an effective use of digital technologies. www.afi-global.org
About Eastern Europe & Central Asia Policy Initiative (ECAPI)
Launched at the 10th AFI Global Policy Forum in Sochi, Russia in September 2018, ECAPI aims to resolve regional challenges and elevate the voice of Eastern European and Central Asian member institutions on key financial inclusion policy issues. Countries within the region require focused and tailored solutions to tackle its financial inclusion challenges, including low levels of financial literacy, high volume of remittances and underdeveloped consumer protection policies.