G20 Leaders Commit to Further Efforts to Promote Financial Inclusion Through the GPFI

At their Summit in Cannes on November 4, 2011, G20 Leaders commended the work of the GPFI and committed to further efforts to advance financial inclusion under the Mexican G20 Presidency in 2012.

One year after the launch of the GPFI at the G20 Summit in Seoul, the GPFI provided a progress report to the G20 Leaders summarizing the achievements in the first year of work and making recommendations for the way forward.

The report, published on November 5, 2011, highlighted that although financial transactions are the basis of many daily activities, and are as critical to poor households as to the rich, an estimated 2.5 billion working-age adults still lack access to formal financial services globally. In addition, millions of SMEs throughout the world, critical contributors to employment, are not able to access formal sources of credit and face a significant financing gap.

The GPFI’s report showcased the work achieved by its three Subgroups to date to advance work in the areas of implementing the Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion; fostering strong links to the work of the five identified key standard-setting bodies (SSBs); developing policy and regulatory frameworks for SME Financing together with a global SME Finance Forum; and in publishing a progress report on data & measurement.

The report makes five recommendations, which were endorsed by the G20 Leaders at their Summit:

  • for developed and developing countries to commit to further implementation of the nine Principles for Innovative Financial Inclusion, building on lessons and the policy recommendations from the case studies documented;
     
  • for the main standard-setting bodies to jointly explore the complementarities among their work and that of the GPFI, and encourage the SSBs to consider the recommendations and lessons learned from the GPFI’s white paper and country case studies;
     
  • the launch of the SME Finance Forum as a platform to leverage experience on SME Finance, together with the GPFI’s SME Finance Policy Guide;
     
  • welcoming of the progress made in mobilizing capital for the winning proposals from the SME Finance Challenge; 
     
  • and for the IMF to continue to strengthen its supply-side data collection efforts with the support of IFC and CGAP, and for countries to develop and use data sources that are relevant for informing and monitoring policy success.

The recognition of the GPFI’s work in its first year and the endorsement of its recommendations by the G20 Leaders marks the culmination of a successful year for the GPFI under the Presidency of France and supported by key Implementing Partners AFI, CGAP and the IFC. Mexico will take over the G20 Presidency, hosting the next Leaders’ Summit in Los Cabos in June 2012.