Kyiv, Ukraine, August 6, 2020 — The National Bank of Ukraine and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on joint efforts to accelerate financial inclusion in the country by expanding access to credit and promoting electronic payments for Ukrainians and small businesses.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the National Bank of Ukraine and IFC was signed by Kyrylo Shevchenko, NBU Governor, and Jason Pellmar, IFC Regional Manager for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. This cooperation agreement is part of IFC’s four-year Ukraine Financial Inclusion for Growth Program, implemented in partnership with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO and the UK Government’s Good Governance Fund.
According to the World Bank Group’s Global Findex database, around 40 percent of Ukraine’s adult population lacks an account at a financial institution, while most account holders still use their bank cards to withdraw cash.
The new partnership aims to:
- Introduce new financial products for Ukrainians and small businesses;
- Expand access to savings accounts and secure loans;
- Make financial services more accessible, higher quality and broadly used by Ukrainians; and
- Develop a comprehensive regulatory framework to protect consumer rights.
The partnership within the Memorandum will also facilitate the creation of competitive market conditions for financial service providers aiming to decrease transaction costs for customers and to open new opportunities for business growth in digital financial services.
"My main goal as NBU Governor is to increase the welfare of Ukrainians. The NBU will welcome and support the efforts of our international partners in this direction," said Kyrylo Shevchenko, NBU Governor. “The Memorandum of Understanding is an important step forward. Involvement of citizens into the financial system, access to financial services, protection of clients of financial institutions are the priorities of our joint work."
IFC will also provide technical assistance to the National Bank of Ukraine, helping it develop a national financial inclusion strategy.
"Responsible finance solutions can lead to breakthrough opportunities for Ukraine, enabling individuals and businesses to access much-needed financial services. It is also crucial to open the market for investors, fueling the country with sustainable growth," said Jason Pellmar, IFC Regional Manager for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. "Building on our global experience, IFC will help Ukraine to expand access to finance to underserved segments by improving and promoting the use of digital financial services, introducing principles of consumer protection and supporting the transformation of a credit reporting system."
Supporting responsible and inclusive financial services is an important part of IFC’s strategy in Europe and Central Asia. To date, the World Bank Group has helped over 65 institutions worldwide to implement responsible finance solutions across microfinance, insurance, housing finance, sustainable energy finance, mobile banking, agri-finance, and credit reporting.
IFC - a sister organization of the World Bank and 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 2019, we invested more than $19 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 more information, visit www.ifc.org.
SECO is Switzerland’s competence center for all core issues relating to economic policy. SECO’s economic development cooperation strives to achieve inclusive sustainable growth and poverty reduction in its partner countries. Its activities aim to create more and better jobs, to enhance trade and competitiveness, to support effective institutions and services, and to foster climate resilient economies. For more information, visit www.seco-cooperation.admin.ch or www.eda.admin.ch/kyiv.
The UK Government’s Good Governance Fund (GGF) has a primary objective of building resilience in targeted countries by providing support for domestic reform agendas which reduce corruption, promote transparent and accountable institutions, and build open, inclusive economies and societies. For more information, visit: https://www.gov.uk/.
About the National Bank of Ukraine
Expanding financial inclusion is one of the priorities of the National Bank of Ukraine during the next five years according to the Strategy of Ukrainian Financial Sector Development until 2025. Among the tasks are enhancing the accessibility and level of financial services usage, enhancing the protection of consumer rights, and improving the financial literacy of the general public. This will contribute to the sustainable and inclusive development of Ukraine's economy and increase the welfare of citizens.