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Broad-based and inclusive financial systems can significantly aid financial development, reduce poverty, and expand economic opportunity in developing countries. Poor households and individuals often have difficulty obtaining financial services for a multitude of reasons, including transaction costs, perceived risk, inadequate legal and financial infrastructure, and information barriers. Yet many financial institutions have begun making profitable inroads into these underserved markets through the continuing expansion of financial access and microfinance. Building Inclusive Financial Systems offers an indispensable guide for governments and the private sector to increase access effectively and responsibly.
On Wednesday, January 16, 2008, panelists shared their experience and views on new directions in work in the area of financial access, building upon and extending themes in the book. Panelists included Anjali Kumar,Adviser, Financial and Private Sector Development VP, World Bank; Marilou Uy, Sector Director, Africa Finance and Private Sector Development Department, World Bank; Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development; Peer Stein, Manager of Financial Infrastructure & Institution Building, International Finance Corporation; Hanns-Martin Hagen, Vice President, KfW Bankengruppe; and Michael Barr, Professor of Law, University of Michigan. Elizabeth Littlefield, Director, World Bank and CEO of CGAP, moderated the discussion.