BSP has new P41-M grant for financial inclusion – Manila Bulletin

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The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) received a new grant of P 41.3 million (EUR 700,000) from the French Development Agency (AFD) for its financial inclusion project.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said on Thursday that the grant will fund technical assistance for financial inclusion and its national strategy for financial inclusion initiatives. The funding will also fund the use of technology for digital finance regulation and expand the digital financial literacy program for rural and women-owned businesses and agricultural insurance.

“The grant from the French Development Agency is expected to strengthen PASB’s initiatives to empower marginalized sectors in the Philippines by giving them access to financial products and services,” said Diokno. The project will start in the last quarter of 2021 and is expected to be completed by 2026.

Ellen Joyce Suficiencia, director of the Financial Inclusion Group-Center for Learning and Advocacy for Inclusion, said this was the second grant they are receiving for financial inclusion and a first of the AFD. It will complement the Inclusive Finance Development Program (IFDP) of the Asian Development Bank. AFD supports the IFDP, which has funding of 5.88 billion pesos (100 million euros) in the form of a sovereign loan in the Philippines.

“This is our first time (as a grant beneficiary) with AFD,” said Suficiencia. Apart from the continuous technical assistance of the AfDB’s BSP, AFD is the only other financial inclusion support they have.

Diokno said PASB’s use of the AFD grant, which includes three activities, will include data optimization and analysis for financial supervision. “This will involve the identification of all possible applications and use cases of suptech in the financial supervision of BSP (and) the development of a suptech strategy and an implementation plan”, a- he declared.

Diokno said the second strand is financial education with a focus on digital finance while the third is a public policy dialogue on agricultural insurance to mitigate climate risks. “This will focus on assessing the feasibility of scaling up digital solutions to improve the efficiency of agricultural insurance, and developing an insurance training program,” said Diokno. The Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. and the Insurance Commission have officially expressed their support for these activities, he added.

In a statement, AFD Country Director Laurent Klein said they would continue to “support financial systems” and regulators such as the BSP to “combat social and economic inequalities”.

“The project that will result from this cooperation will contribute to the country’s efforts to promote access to quality financial services for all, including the most vulnerable part of the population,” Klein said.

The Ambassador of France to the Philippines, Michèle Boccoz, for her part said that France intends to improve bilateral relations with the country. “We wish to support the government of the Philippines, through AFD, in its strategic reforms towards digital transformation and inclusion. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to difficult situations, but also to opportunities to take advantage of digital technologies to improve financial sector services that would ultimately benefit Filipinos from all walks of life, ”he said. he declares.

The BSP has had a financial inclusion office since 2007, it was the first central bank to set up a unit dedicated to financial inclusion.

The BSP aims to integrate 70% of all adult Filipinos with formal accounts by 2023.

Diokno said he remains confident in achieving this goal. “I am optimistic that the 70% target for 2023 is achievable,” he told reporters during his virtual press briefing. He cited three reasons: the momentum induced by the pandemic for increased use of digital; the “game-changing” national identity card or the PhilSys identity card; and the whole-of-government approach to meeting the challenges of promoting financial inclusion.

According to the 2019 BSP Financial Inclusion Survey, 29% of Filipino adults have accounts. For the period 2019 to 2020, basic deposit accounts increased by 65%, from $ 4 million to $ 6.6 million. E-money or e-money accounts also increased by 94% to 34.7 million, compared to 17.9 million accounts during the same period.

Diokno said they use both basic deposit account and e-money account data as proxy indicators, as these types of accounts are usually opened by those who were not previously banked.


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