Finance News

Doubling Savings Accounts programme to improve financial access for the Poor

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation granted $20 million to the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) to double the number of savings accounts among poor people in developing countries.

WSBI is the only global representative of savings and retail banking. With members in 90 countries, it works closely with international financial institutions and donor agencies and promotes access to financial services worldwide.

The Doubling Savings Accounts Programme is supported under the foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor initiative, which works with a wide range of public and private partners to harness technology and innovation to bring quality, affordable savings accounts and other financial services to the doorsteps of the poor in the developing world.

WSBI launched a call to its members to submit proposals for projects that would use foundation grant funds to contribute to the programme’s goal. After a rigorous evaluation of proposals and of the applicants themselves, WSBI selected ten of its member banks to participate in the programme. Each one exercises broad geographical outreach in its country and has a strong tradition of working with disadvantaged populations:
  • Kenya Post Office Savings Bank
  • Lesotho PostBank
  • PostBank Uganda
  • Poste Maroc, Morocco
  • BTN, Indonesia
  • SONAPOST, Burkina Faso
  • Sistema FEDECRÉDITO, El Salvador
  • South African Post Office
  • Tanzania Postal Bank
  • Vietnam Postal Savings Service Company
A year after implementation commenced on the ten projects of the WSBI "Doubling Savings Accounts" programme – supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – the first lessons are emerging.

Source: WSBI
Date: 20.05.2011 [ID: 290]

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