- The Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative seeks to facilitate access to basic financial services to the two billion people who are currently financially excluded
- The BBVA Microfinance Foundation promotes the development of vulnerable sectors in Latin America through financial inclusion
- Alejandro Lorca, Head of Finance at the BBVAMF: “The Foundation’s mission is in line with the World Bank’s macrostrategic goal of reducing poverty”
The BBVA Microfinance Foundation has signed in Washington its undertaking with the World Bank’s Universal Financial Access 2020 (UFA) initiative to fight the financial exclusion of two billion adults. The goal is to facilitate universal access to basic financial services. With the signing of the undertaking by the new members, the number of organizations participating in the UFA has doubled compared to last year.
“The Foundation’s mission is in line with the World Bank’s macrostrategic goal of reducing poverty”, said Alejandro Lorca, the BBVAMF’s head of Finance, in Washington. This non-profit organization promotes the development of vulnerable sectors in Latin America through financial inclusion. It supports low-income entrepreneurs through a wide range of financial and training resources.
During the signing by the sixteen new institutions at the headquarters of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), its executive vice-president and general manager, Philippe Le Houérou, pointed out that these partnerships “contribute to mutual learning and help explore ways of promoting successful initiatives that benefit a larger number of financially excluded people”. The IFC is part of the World Bank Group and works in the economic development of countries through the private sector.
The Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative is focused on 25 priority countries where 73% of the financially excluded adults live. These include Colombia, with 61% of financial exclusion, and Peru, with 71%. The BBVAMF works in these two countries through the Bancamía and Financiera Confianza banks, which have over 1.2 million customers (two out of three people served by the Foundation in the American continent).
“Access to financial services is a key to reducing poverty. We therefore support the World Bank Group’s goal with our undertaking to offering more than 2.3 million accounts by the end of 2020”, said Javier M. Flores, general manager of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation.
A commitment to eradicating poverty
The World Bank has set 2020 as the deadline for guaranteeing access to basic financial services such as bank accounts, both conventional and those driven by fintech companies. This is the first step toward the financial inclusion of individuals and companies with a variety of more specific products, including credit and insurance, among others.
It claims that financial inclusion is a tool for families in a situation of poverty to be able to access essential services such as water, electricity, housing, education and health. It also helps SMEs grow, expand their operations and more adequately manage risks.
The Universal Financial Access 2020 initiative contributes to the World Bank’s two main goals: poverty reduction and shared prosperity. A purpose shared by the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, which has granted 8.306 billion dollars in loans to vulnerable entrepreneurs in Latin America since its creation and currently serves 1.8 million people.