More than 100 million of the 370 million inhabitants in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia are un(der)banked. This includes many of the 60 million poor and a part of the 150 million economically vulnerable people. Ratios of unbanked people vary from an average 25% in Central Europe to more than 80% in Central Asia. Especially, rural areas are underserved. With 110,000 post offices in the region and more than 75,000 of them in rural and peri-urban areas, postal networks present a potential to fill in part of the gaps in the financial market infrastructure. Proximity, low-threshold, trust, cost-efficiency and transparency are often heard as part of the values that post offices can add. The path to upgrade the post offices as portals for universal access to basic financial services appears to be long and difficult.
All these subjects will be tackled during a seminar organized by BancPost of Romania and Postfinance International Development (Netherlands) which will take place from 28 May to 1 June 2012 in Romania. The detailed agenda as well as inscription forms are available here in English or Russian.