A sense of urgency was present at a recent World Bank Spring meeting on financial inclusion. This is not surprising, given the Bank’s ambitious goal of Universal Financial Access by 2020. Two years to go and globally about 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked—close to 1 billion of them are women. It’s clear that to meet this goal, we all must focus our efforts on women.
CGD Policy Blogs
Basel III & Unintended Consequences for Emerging Markets and Developing Economies - Part 1: Cross-border Spillover Effects
Basel III is the most extensive, post-global crisis financial regulatory standard to date, but it is rarely discussed by development economists. This is a major oversight.
How Illicit Finance Controls Can Make It Harder for Nonprofits to Serve the World’s Neediest —and What to Do about It
A growing number of humanitarian aid organizations operating in conflict zones are having trouble finding banks willing to work with them. We attended an international stakeholder dialogue on ensuring financial services for nonprofit organizations, and offer our preliminary thoughts here.
Can biometric IDs encourage women’s financial inclusion and economic and social empowerment? In principle, the answer should be yes. But the potential impact is limited by a range of other impediments that limit women’s participation.
Like the mythical Roman god Janus, there are two faces to most of the economies of the MENA region. We can call them the young and the old. And that the choice for MENA governments to make is not which face of Janus to support, but rather how to ensure that both can co-exist and prosper.
Assessing the Quality of Regulations for Improving Financial Inclusion in Eight Latin American Countries
Many factors could be cited for the low ratios of financial inclusion in Latin America, but in a recent paper we focus on the potential role of financial regulation. We assessed and compared the quality of the policies and regulations that impinge on financial inclusion in eight Latin American countries.
For the policymaker looking to improve services and the delivery of benefits, or for the financial institution trying to expand its customer base, the gap between technical solutions and the situation of the average technology user represents fertile ground for the many new opportunities that the digital economy provides.
Here at CGD, we’re always working on new ideas to stay on top of the rapidly changing global development landscape. Whether it’s examining new technologies with the potential to alleviate poverty, presenting innovative ways to finance global health, assessing changing leadership at international institutions, or working to maximize results in resource-constrained environments, CGD’s experts are at the forefront of practical policy solutions to reduce global poverty and inequality. Get an in-depth look below at their thoughts on the 2018 global development landscape.
As the price of bitcoin continues its dizzying rise—the currency briefly surpassed $19,000 yesterday—the already passionate debate about its role in the global economy has become even more heated. Over the last two months, prominent economists and financiers, including Citi CEO Jamie Dimon, former IMF Chief Economist Kenneth Rogoff, and former Chair of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke have all voiced skepticism about the currency, triggering a loud response from the crypto community.
The difficulties encountered by emerging markets’ regulators in balancing socially desirable innovations and possible risks are accountable for the slow development of fintech regulations in these economies. To address these problems, the framework developed in CGD’s report, Financial Regulations for Improving Financial Inclusion can support regulators’ efforts. This approach, based on three main principles, encourages the private sector to successfully adopt and adapt digital finance solutions for low-income populations while circumventing risks.