Workshop on financial inclusion in rural communities in Peru

15 January 2016
Financiera Confianza

Public, private and civil society institutions in Peru involved with financial inclusion took part in a forum to debate efficient models of rural financial inclusion and the struggle against poverty in the workshop entitled “Supporting rural financial inclusion: the experience of Ahorro para Todos”, organized by Financiera Confianza and the IDB-Fomin.

Financiera Confianza outlined the implementation and current challenges of the “Ahorro para Todos” (“Savings for all”) program which operates in Apurímac and Cusco, and has brought financial literacy and the promotion of formal savings to over 8,600 people in 80 rural communities in Peru, of whom almost 1,900 have opened a savings account with the bank.

“Ahorro para Todos”, the first private initiative to promote formal savings in rural areas of Peru, advocates financial literacy for people with few resources, predominantly women (80%), to enable them to develop good savings habits, understand the difference between formal and informal savings, and learn how to draw up a budget and about insurance and loans, among other topics.

The workshop participants discussed how to improve and replicate similar initiatives to “Ahorro para Todos” and how to overcome the barriers to financial inclusion for underprivileged communities. The conclusions of this forum of experts particularly stressed the need to tailor the training language to people in the rural environment, the importance of normative and regulatory support to reduce the geographic and cultural differences between these communities, the financial system, the role of the State, and the search for the best technological tools to contribute to financial inclusion in remote and inaccessible areas.

“The problem of financial inclusion is very complex. What we need to ask now is: what about listening better, paying more attention, what about if we stop seeing financial inclusion as a financial problem but as a human problem? And what if by doing so, we can once again place the customers and their rise out of poverty at the heart of our business? The debate must seek to answer these questions”, said Martín Naranjo, general manager of Financiera Confianza.

According to Carmen C. Mosquera, specialist from the IDB-Fomin, this workshop was an opportunity to exchange experiences among a variety of institutions that are all working to the same end –namely the financial inclusion of the most vulnerable–, and has opened up a space for dialogue that will continue to generate ideas to achieve this goal.

The participants in the workshop “Supporting rural financial inclusion: the experience of Ahorro para Todos” included Carolina Trivelli, from Modelo Perú, Juan Carlos Chong, from the Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFP (Department of Banking, Insurance and Pension Fund Administrators – SBS), Luis Terrones de Cofide, Chris Boyd, from the IEP, Luis Tello, from the Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion (Midis), Lourdes Chero, from the Ministry of Economy, Hans Landolt, from Cefi-Asbanc, Johanna Yancari, from Proyecto Capital, Martín Valdivia, from GRADE, Janina León, from the PUCP, María Amparo Cruz Saco, from the UP, Cecilia Ames, from ESAN, representatives of the Juntos program from some municipal savings and loans institutions (CMACS) and NGOs, among others.