A successful UPU-AFI workshop on financial inclusion and postal banking

Gabriela Braun, AFI

Financial inclusion was one of the key topics at the 2009 session of the Universal Postal Union’s Council of Administration, which ended last week.

On November 9 and 10, a UPU workshop supported by the Bangkok-based Alliance for Financial Inclusion looked at how Posts could expand financial inclusion to people living in isolated areas of developing countries, where no financial institution exists.

With more than 650,000 post offices worldwide, many Posts, including those of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are already filling an important void in this area.

Almost nine million accounts have been opened at Brazilian post offices since 2002, when the Post partnered with one of the country’s leading banks to offer financial services to people until then excluded from any financial system. And the Postal Savings Bank of China has already extended 1.8 million loans to small entrepreneurs in a little over a year through a microfinance scheme supported by the German cooperation agency.

Experts shared their experience and discussed how Posts could become agents for expanding financial access to the poor.

Learn more about this event in the UPU-AFI conference section.

Now download the UPU-AFI Workshop Report (by Monika Kugemann).

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