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Implementation of Updated NBU Strategy Will Help Expand Inclusion and Build Barrier-Free Financial System

Implementation of Updated NBU Strategy Will Help Expand Inclusion and Build Barrier-Free Financial System

The National Bank of Ukraine has partially updated its institutional Strategy by supplementing it with measures aimed at expanding financial inclusion and ensuring a barrier-free financial sector.

Such initiatives are growing increasingly important for the Ukrainian financial system as the war drags on. The NBU’s Strategy is therefore primarily concerned with current problems, including work to reintegrate and restore the financial infrastructure in areas near the battle zone and in liberated territories.

“Availability of financial services to everyone is our priority. This issue has always been relevant, but the full-scale war requires that we address these problems much more quickly. Solutions are already in place: mobile branches, agency agreements, customer service requirements for accessibility and inclusion. We are leading the way in consolidating the financial system’s efforts in this area and accelerating their implementation,” said NBU Governor Andriy Pyshnyy.

Accordingly, the list of the regulator’s priority tasks (within the goal The Financial System Is Working to Restore the Country) has been supplemented by a number of measures aimed at facilitating the provision of financial services:

  • Above all else, the steps noted above will ensure the physical accessibility of financial services for clients, including people with disabilities. To this end, the NBU is planning to stimulate bringing financial institutions’ branches into compliance with barrier-free accessibility recommendations.
  • Changes are also planned in introducing global best practices to improve the provision of remote financial services, e.g. for individuals with disabilities who cannot visit bank branches. Innovations in the banking and financial sectors must play a key role in facilitating access to financial services and increasing the financial independence of people with disabilities.

The implementation of these measures will go hand-in-hand with the further development of the Power Banking 2.0 initiative (within the Modern Financial Services goal). Specifically, it is about ensuring uninterrupted and stable access for everyone to financial services in areas near active hostilities, regions where financial inclusion is low, and liberated territories. On the central bank’s initiative, banks will make efforts to rapidly restore services in liberated areas, including by developing mobile branches, installing more ATMs, engaging commercial agents to provide financial services, and expanding the branch network. The NBU has also developed an action plan to ensure the availability of the cash back at checkout service in liberated areas, which banks will implement together with retailers as efforts to rebuild the financial infrastructure there move forward.

Please be reminded that in May 2023, the NBU unveiled its Financial Fortress Strategy, which focuses on resisting russian aggression and rebuilding the country. This is a flexible document that will be periodically updated to account for unforeseen external circumstances. The next update is planned for H1 2024.


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