Minister for International Development to speak at prestigious international finance event
Financial Inclusion and banking the world’s poorest is one of JOA’s three sustainable development themes. My speech made at the virtual Toronto Centre’s Conference in October 2021 encapsulates why financial inclusion is important to the developing world:
This week, Jersey’s Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey, will speak at Toronto Centre’s Executive Panel, an event which is taking place as part of the week-long programme of annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank Group (WBG).
The 15th October event will examine the theme of digital transformation in the finance industry and its implications for financial inclusion, stability and supervision. Attendees from the IMF, WBG, financial sector regulatory and supervisory authorities, central banks, officials from ministries of finance, international development agencies, NGOs and the private sector will attend the panel, virtually, from more than 100 countries across the world.
Deputy Carolyn Labey will introduce the panel of international experts which includes; Patrick Njoroge, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya; Socorro Heysen, Superintendent of Banks, Insurance and Pension Fund Administrators of Peru and Board Member of Toronto Centre; John A. Rolle, Governor, Central Bank of Bahamas; and Eswar Prasad, Nandlal P. Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy, Cornell University and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution.
“I am delighted to have been invited to speak at Toronto Centre’s Executive Panel, an event which will see the most influential figures from the international finance industry gather to share their views on digital transformation and its implications. It is an excellent opportunity to highlight how the international finance centre of Jersey supports vital financial inclusion programmes across Ethiopia, Malawi, Nepal and Rwanda through our relief and development agency, Jersey Overseas Aid.
“There are roughly 1.7 billion people around the world who are ‘unbanked’’ and do not have access to financial services. This means that they cannot easily save for their children’s education, take out a loan to buy seeds and fertilisers or buy insurance to protect them from medical or natural disasters. Greater financial inclusion means that people save more, spend more on healthcare and education, start to invest in enterprises, and insure themselves against unexpected financial difficulties that have potentially devastating consequences,” said Deputy Carolyn Labey.
“In line with Toronto Centre’s mission, we convened this executive panel to underscore the need to balance the risk and opportunities presented by the digitisation of financial services. Our experience over the past two and a half decades of capacity building in developing countries has illustrated that access to financial services can significantly be hindered by weak financial supervision,” said Babak Abbaszadeh, President and CEO of Toronto Centre. “We commend Jersey Overseas Aid for their results-driven commitment to promoting financial inclusion and we are proud to be their partner. Our organisation is honoured to have Deputy Carolyn Labey set the stage for this important conversation.”
Toronto Centre is an independent, non-profit organisation that aims to promote financial stability and access globally by providing practical training to financial sector regulators and supervisors, particularly in emerging markets and low-income countries. Through these programmes, regulatory and supervisory agencies can be strengthened, becoming more effective, enabling the development of stable economies which facilitate economic growth and job creation.
Toronto Centre is one of Jersey Overseas Aid’s partner organisations with Jersey currently funding pro-poor training for regulators and bankers in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi and Nepal.
“There is strong evidence that shows building financial inclusion is a crucial enabler for reducing poverty, increasing resilience, and achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. I am proud to say that Jersey is playing a vital role in sustainably transforming thousands of lives through its Jersey Overseas Aid financial inclusion development grants.” concluded Deputy Carolyn Labey.
Financial inclusion is a key area of focus for Jersey Overseas Aid and is a member of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Established by the World Bank, CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development organisations that works to advance the lives of poor people through financial inclusion.