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Advancing Financial Inclusion in a Digital Age: Asia Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit Kicks Off in Hanoi, Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

The Asia Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit 2017 opened in Hanoi today, bringing together over 450 key stakeholders, thought leaders and practitioners to further the financial inclusion agenda in the region.

Now in its second year, the Summit is organized by the Citi Foundation and the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) in partnership with the Banking with the Poor Network and The Economist Group. This year the State Bank of Vietnam is Official Host of the Summit.

Themed “Advancing Financial Inclusion in a Digital Age”, the Summit will explore the opportunities and challenges of the next generation of financial inclusion, and showcase the latest technology and innovations in financial products and services for the unbanked and underserved.

Michelle Curry, CEO of FDC called the impact of the digital age on financial inclusion “arguably the greatest financial reform of our time” and added that it was “both encouraging and inspiring to see such dedication to the reform evidenced by the large number of attendees at this sellout Summit.”

Madam Nguyen Thi Hong, Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, spoke about the future of financial inclusion in her keynote address today.

“More organizations are offering new financial products and services that change the form and nature of the market and are shaping the future of financial inclusion. This rapid change presents challenges in terms of management, monitoring and risk of information and system security. Therefore, it is critical to harmonize the goals of financial innovation, integration and consumer protection to maximize the benefits of financial inclusion,” said Madam Hong.

Despite great progress made over the past decades in financial inclusion worldwide, some two billion adults remain unbanked, more than half of which are in Asia Pacific.

“The inclusive finance ecosystem is evolving to include not only financial service providers, both banks and non-banks, but new players, like mobile money providers and e-money operators, to name a few,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi.

“What we will explore at this year’s Summit, is the need to balance new innovative technological advances and creative partnerships with policy that will continue to not only help drive financial inclusion for low-income populations but also protect vulnerable populations,” she added.

Over the next two days, delegates will debate issues, share case-studies, analyze trends and explore opportunities to drive collective action. The Summit’s delegates include prominent organizations including the Vietnam Bank of Social Policies, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Ford Foundation, MicroSave, Cullinan Group, Friend of Women’s World Banking, The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, World Bank Group, United Nations, Grameen Capital, ACCESS Development Services, Visa, bKash, MasterCard and Yale University.

Members of the media can access b-roll interview footage with key speakers (refer to Appendix 1 for list of available interviews) throughout the two days by clicking on the following Digital News Agency (DNA) link – http://www.digitalnewsagency.com/stories/10665-advancing-financial-inclusion-in-a-digital-age-asia-pacific-financial-inclusion-summit-kicks-off-in-hanoi-vietnam. Please note that you will need to sign up and log-in to the DNA platform to download footage.

For ongoing updates from the Summit, follow @Citi and @FDCAsiaPac on Twitter or #FinInclusionSummit to join the conversation. Video footage and photos from the event will also be available on the Summit Gallery page at http://www.fininclusionsummit.org/gallery/

About the State Bank of Vietnam

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) is a ministerial agency of the Government - the Central Bank of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The operations of the SBV aim at stabilizing the value of Vietnamese currency, ensuring safe and sound banking operations and the system of credit institutions, ensuring safety and efficiency of national payment system, and contributing to socio – economic development under the socialist orientation. For more information, visit www.sbv.gov.vn.

About Citi

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi

About Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

About the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC)

The Foundation for Development Cooperation is an independent Australian foundation committed to building prosperity in developing countries in the Asia Pacific region by pursuing initiatives that reduce poverty and promote equitable growth. We achieve this by defining and delivering development initiatives that are market-based and innovative, drawing on the collective skills, knowledge and resources of organisations from across the public, private, NGO and academic sectors. For more information, visit http://www.fdc.org.au.

Appendix 1 – List of Key Speaker Interviews Available on Digital News Agency (DNA) Platform

  • Madam Nguyen Thi Hong, Deputy Governor, State Bank of Vietnam
  • Natasha Ansell, Citi Country Officer for Citi Vietnam
  • Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation, and Director of Corporate Citizenship at Citi
  • Gregory Chen, Head Policy, The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP)
  • Dean Karlan, Professor of Economics, Yale University; President and Founder, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)
  • Shameran Abed, Head of Microfinance, BRAC; Chairman, bKash
  • Philip Course, Managing Director, Cullinan Group
  • Pia Roman, Director, Inclusive Finance Advocacy Office and Concurrent Head, Financial Consumer Protection Department, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
  • Vijayalakshmi Das, Chief Executive Officer, Friends of Women’s World Banking (FWWB), India
  • Manoj Sharma, Managing Director – Asia, Microsave
  • Graham Macmillan, Senior Program Officer, Inclusive Economies, Ford Foundation

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