Why financial inclusion? Follow the debate at our European Development Days event and find out if banks can serve the bottom billions

by 28th May 2015
A pile of savings books sit on a table as members of a village savings group meet in Bugiri, Eastern Uganda A pile of savings books sit on a table as members of a village savings group meet in Bugiri, Eastern Uganda

Financial inclusion has been a key part of CARE’s work for over 20 years. We’ve learned from an enormous number of programmes in dozens of countries that giving women access to savings is an essential first step in their economic empowerment. The next step is accessing formal financial services – a win-win that banks the unbanked while opening up new markets and providing new customers for banks. But are banks making the most of this opportunity?

At our European Development Days event on 3 June, we’ll be revealing results from new research into financial inclusion in 12 developing countries. If you can’t come to the event, follow our live blog here on Insights and @careintuk #NOunbanked to find out more.

The research shows that many banks are developing the capabilities required to reach previously hard to serve financial inclusion customers, via mobile phones, agents and cards, and a number of banks are treating this market as an important opportunity.

But a lot still remains to be done. It seems clear to me that those banks that do not take banking the unbanked seriously may be missing out on one of the opportunities that will substantially shape banking over the next few years.

Join us, ask the panel a question, and/or follow the event live:

If you’ve already registered for European Development Days, we hope that you’ll join us in person at the session on Wednesday 3 June at 6pm. 

If you can’t make it but would like to ask a question to the panel, tweet your question to @gerryboyle10 #NOunbanked

You can also follow the event via our live blog here on Insights and @careintuk #NOunbanked

About our session

CARE International is speaking at a session Banks can serve the bottom billions and create greater economic equality, where I’ll review some of the results of our joint research with the global consulting firm Accenture, where we’ve analysed in detail the capabilities and strategies of 28 banks in 12 developing countries, to see where they are heading on financial inclusion.

We’ll be joined by some great speakers:

  • Matt Wilson of Barclays, who works on Banking on Change, the Barclays, CARE and Plan UK programme on linking savings groups to formal financial services in several developing countries;
  • Gabin Hamann of the European Commission: Gabin heads Private Sector Development, Trade and Regional Integration at DG Devco – EuropeAid
  • Louise James will facilitate the session. She is Global Programs Director of Accenture Development Partnerships (ADP) and has a wide understanding of key trends in development.

About European Development Days

European Development Days 2015 (EDD15) on June 3-4 in Brussels is the European Commission’s flagship event in this, the European Year for Development. It’s a huge event with 5,000 participants, from over 140 countries, bringing together the European Commission, representatives of member states, civil society (both North and South) and the private sector.

EDD15 aims to showcase key development trends and give development practitioners from a huge range of backgrounds the opportunity to come together, learn from each other, argue with each other, build new alliances and project out to a European, and global, audience what is happening on the ground, what is working and what remains to be done.

CARE International will be there to talk about financial inclusion and the role of banks. Join us at our session or follow it live here on Insights and @careintuk #NOunbanked

Gerry Boyle

I lead CARE International UK’s policy analysis and advocacy around value chains and dignified work. I originally joined CARE as the Senior Policy Adviser on Private Sector Engagement. With the advent of our new Global Programme Strategy which put a particular emphasis on women’s economic empowerment, my focus changed a little, although I still work extensively with issues in the private sector and with CARE’s corporate partners.

Until recently I spent a lot of my time on financial inclusion, now looked after by my colleague Fiona Jarden. I also co-chair the Bond Private Sector Working Group.  Immediately before I joined CARE I worked for Oxfam as Head of Business Relations for about three years, but the vast majority of my career was spent as a management consultant including being a consulting Partner at Deloitte, where for a time I led Deloitte UK’s Consumer Business consulting practice, serving many major multinationals. My original degree was in Law from Oxford University, and in 2008 when I left Deloitte I did an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy at LSE.

One good thing I've read

Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom. It provides a framework for many people’s modern understanding of what is development, based on a profoundly human-centred approach rather than anything instrumental. And to check whether one personally is doing enough to fight poverty, I recommend Peter Singer’s The life you can save: Acting now to end world poverty – it’s very clear and easy to read but very challenging! Finally, Ha-Joon Chang’s Bad Samaritans: Rich nations, poor policies, and the threat to the developing world is a very readable guide to economic development which argues strongly against many of the prevailing orthodoxies.

Email: boyle@careinternational.org

Twitter: @gerryboyle10