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The Alliance for Financial Inclusion's (AFI) seventh Consumer Empowerment and Market Conduct Working Group (CEMC) meeting takes place

15.03.2014

During spring days of March 10-15, 2014 the training centre of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus hosted people with different skin color, nationality, culture and religion. 

They came from countries of North and South America, Central Europe, Africa, Asia (the USA, Columbia, Peru, El Salvador, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Guinea, Burundi, Congo, Liberia, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Palestine, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Senegal, Philippines, Armenia).

The members of the Alliance for financial inclusion (AFI), the international organization, joined by the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus in 2010, convened for search of constructive solutions in the sphere of rights protection of financial services consumers.

The event was attended by 28 foreign guests, as well as representatives of the central office of the National Bank and five representatives from directorates’ economic departments of the regional offices of the National Bank.  

Deputy Trade Minister Irina Narkevich and Deputy Chairperson of the Board of the National Bank of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Dubkov delivered opening speeches.  The representatives of the AFI, Word Bank, Consultative Group for Assistance of the Poor (CGAP), UK Financial Services Consumer Panel made presentations.

Deliverables were developed by five subgroups:

  1. Financial Literacy and Education. Within activities of Financial Literacy and Education group the members from the Republic of Belarus, Columbia, Malaysia and Senegal shared experience of best practices in financial literacy empowerment and financial inclusion. In addition, the group completed drafting a survey developed for AFI members in order to detect the countries implementing national strategies in financial education, as well as aims, tasks, orientation of the strategies, and funding sources.
  2. Help and Redress. The work of the Help and Redress group was focused on the experience of Armenia, Columbia and Peru. Processing claims from financial services providers and agencies on consumer rights protection, as well as ways of appliance, mediation and arbitration – these were the issues under discussion.
  3. The subgroup on Institutional Framework and Supervision was involved in making up the roadmap on main principles of supervision in financial services delivery.
  4. In Responsible Lending Group members from Bangladesh, Malaysia and Tanzania were involved in discussion. All the countries agreed that financial inclusion and financial literacy are among the priorities for them. A significant issue here is to balance between responsible lending and improving financial inclusion in lending avoiding excessive indebtedness.  

Transparency and disclosures. This group comprised of the members from Congo, Burundi, El Salvador, Malaysia, Peru.

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