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Banks come together to promote financial inclusion

A group of 28 banks have come together to promote financial inclusion and sustainability. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of tackling financial inequalities. Around 1.7 billion adults are currently without a bank account, this makes it more difficult to be financially resilient in times of difficulty, which will become increasingly important as the climate crisis worsens. 

Under the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), the banks will share best practices and see how they can be further improved and adopted across the sector. 

This coalition marks the start of a journey to accelerate action on financial health, climate change, nature loss and pollution. 

brown wallet

Eric Usher, Head of United Nations Environment Programme  Finance Initiative said: ‘The Principles provide an accountable framework for banks to collectively accelerate action and this is the first time that banks have come together in this way to further drive financial inclusion.

‘By developing an effective and consistent approach, they will be able to establish a pathway of best practice for others to follow worldwide. Amidst rising global inequalities, exacerbated by Covid-19, this commitment recognises the critical role of financial intermediaries in facilitating inclusive societies founded on human dignity, which are necessary for achieving shared prosperity for both current and future generations.’

Signatory banks joining this leadership group will set targets within 18 months of signing.

The targets will be supported by measures that seek to drive the necessary changes. The changes could include affordable bank accounts, accessible ways of making payments, suitable credit offerings, financial education, as well as improved credit and risk policies to mitigate over-indebtedness, among many others.

Banks will publish their targets within 18 months and report on them annually thereafter, ensuring a high level of transparency of their progress.

 

 

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