Experience proves real usefulness

Belarus is regional leader in terms of improvement of financial literacy of its citizens
By Mikhail Semenov

The Executive Director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Alfred Hannig, told journalists that the level of financial inclusion in Belarus is very high. “Belarus is the first member of our organisation from Eastern Europe. It’s a regional leader in the study of such issues as the measurement of financial inclusion and the improvement of financial literacy of the population. The experience of Belarus in this area could be useful for other AFI members,” noted Mr. Hannig. “In total, about 85 percent of the population has access to at least one of the banking services.”

The AFI Executive Director came to Belarus to discuss the expansion of bilateral co-operation with the National Bank, and to review the preparations for the upcoming meeting of the AFI working group on consumer rights and behaviour, hosted by Minsk in March 2014. The meeting of the working group in Belarus has become a kind of recognition of the significant progress made by the National Bank in improving access to finance, including the protection of consumers of financial services, and its active work in addressing these issues.

At present, the National Bank is developing a proposal for a new AFI grant — Promotion of Regional Co-operation in the Area of Access to Finance in Eastern Europe and the CIS.

The AFI is an international organisation, based on the membership of national institutes from various countries (central banks, finance and economy ministries) and is aimed at promoting the development of national financial systems. The AFI provides support to its member states by building national strategies, aiming to improve access towards finances and giving short-term and long-term grants to aid their implementation. The AFI currently unites 114 organisations from 93 countries around the world.
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