News

Gov't puts forward National Financial Inclusion Strategy

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 | 9:14 PM    

Print this page Email A Friend!


KINGSTON, Jamaica —The Government has crafted a National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS), which aims to improve the country’s financial system by 2020.

The goal of the NFIS is to create the conditions in which Jamaicans, particularly those who were previously underserved by the domestic financial system, are able to save safely and build up resilience against financial shocks, and firms are able to invest, grow and generate greater levels of wealth.

Speaking at the official launch at the Jamaica Conference Centre, today, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Audley Shaw, said the strategy forms part of policies being pursued by the Government to achieve sustainable economic growth and development.

 “The National Financial Inclusion Strategy is the Government’s commitment to create the enabling environment that makes it easier for Jamaicans to save, invest, to do business and obtain relevant financial products and information to empower themselves. Financial inclusion is about prosperity and sustainable economic growth,” he said.


He said the strategy is the output of 16 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) in the public sector as well as members in the private sector and non-governmental organisations.

Shaw said there are 53 action items under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy, adding that for each action item, a ministry, department or agency of Government has been named as the primary entity charged with the responsibility of implementing it.

The minister noted that the reforms outlined in the Strategy are structured around four main pillars – Financial Access and Usage, Financial Resilience, Financing for Growth, and Responsible Finance – and a cross-cutting foundation of Supporting Infrastructure.

He said the strategy has set as one of its impact indicators, the goal of achieving an increase in the percentage of total private-sector credit extended to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to 11 per cent.

“Achieving this goal requires us to create an ecosystem for venture capital and the use of non-traditional collateral as security for financial transactions. MSMEs must become bankable, so that they demonstrate to the owners of capital that they are creditworthy,” he argued.

He said the strategy requires the delivery of capacity-building programmes to MSMEs by the public sector to improve the bankability of MSMEs.

“The strategy seeks to empower Jamaican businesses and individuals through practical steps, such as improved credit reporting and the establishment of a consumer protection regime for services provided by deposit-taking institutions and providers of microcredit facilities,” he added.  

In his remarks, Governor, Bank of Jamaica, Brian Wynter, said the strategy has 11 Impact Indicators which are to be achieved by 2020.

He pointed out that they are based on key thematic areas of retail payments and financial infrastructure, consumer protection and financial capability, MSME finance and agricultural finance, and housing finance.

Chair, Stakeholder Advisory Group, Earl Jarrett, said Jamaica joins more than 50 countries that have developed a National Financial Inclusion Strategy.

A National Financial Inclusion Council has been established to oversee the implementation of the Strategy.

The Council, to be chaired by Shaw, will foster a public-private partnership by engaging members of the private sector and non-governmental organisations through a Stakeholder Advisory Group.

The body charged with coordinating the actual implementation of the Strategy is the Financial Inclusion Steering Committee, chaired by the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Do you support the Government's proposed spending of $200 million for Jamaica 55 celebrations?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT