Today, 4 November, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) held the ceremony of launching the development of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy of Ukraine initiated by the NBU and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a part of the World Bank Group. This project is implemented jointly and funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the UK Good Governance Fund (GGF) in Ukraine.
The National Financial Inclusion Strategy is intended to resolve a range of issues. Today, many Ukrainians still don’t have an account with a financial institution, don’t make savings and don’t take out loans. Also, Ukrainians often use payment cards just to withdraw cash from the ATM and not for convenient noncash payments.
Greater engagement in the financial system and a more active use of services, including deposits, transfer services, lending, insurance etc., will assist the public in meeting their needs and by the end of the day improving their welfare.
“Our goal is maximum access to financial services and products for all Ukrainians. We have no right to leave anyone behind. Our joint efforts will define what country will we live in in the future: a convenient, financially inclusive, and modern, or a country, where a part of the population is in fact excluded from the national financial system,” noted Kyrylo Shevchenko, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine.
“With a well-developed and planned financial inclusion strategy Ukraine will introduce a priority-focused, resource-backed, and comprehensive approach to expanding the access for the public to financial services, which is crucial in times of crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” noted Jason Pellmar, IFC Regional Manager for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, “These efforts are a part of out strategic partnership with the National Bank of Ukraine intended to improve resilience of the financial system in the country and strengthen trust in the financial sector.”
Changes to be implemented in line with the national strategy are as follows:
- ensuring physical and remote access to financial services for the entire public, including inhabitants of rural and remote regions
- fostering the development of remote customer service channels and new financial services
- improving the quality of financial services by enhancing protection of consumer rights in financial services
- promoting financial literacy of the public
- favoring the development of financial services as deposits, loans and insurance.
The issue of low public inclusion in the financial system cannot be fixed without systemic efforts and engagement of a wide range of partners. For that reason specialized ministries, financial regulators, international partners, bank representatives, nonbank institutions, as well as business have joined the development and implementation of the strategy together with the NBU and the IFC.
IFC—a member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work in more than 100 countries, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in developing countries. In fiscal year 2020, we invested $22 billion in private companies and financial institutions in developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For information go to www.ifc.org.
About the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
SECO is the federal government's centre of expertise for all core issues relating to economic policy. Its aim is to ensure sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty in partner states. The goals of the centre is creating jobs and improving working conditions, advancing trade and competition, and supporting effective institutions. For more information go to www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch or www.eda.admin.ch/kyiv.
About the UK Good Governance Fund (GGF) in Ukraine
The main goal of the GGF is to ensure a solid foundation for economic growth in partner states by supporting internal reforms that reduce corruption; assisting transparent and accountable institutions as well as building open and inclusive economies and societies. For more information go to https://www.gov.uk/.
About the NBU
Advancing financial inclusion is one of the priorities of the NBU for the following five years, according to the Strategy of Ukrainian Financial Sector Development until 2025. The strategy priorities are enhancing the accessibility and level of financial services usage, promoting consumer rights protection, and improving financial literacy of the public. This will favor sustainable and inclusive growth of the Ukrainian economy and benefit the public welfare.