In a context of accelerated financialization, there is no doubt that promoting access to adequate financial services should be acknowledged as key in helping poor and disadvantaged people accommodate to current living standards (making deposits, cashing out government transfers, borrowing, saving, sending remittances, making payments, etc.), but financial services towards low-income population (irregular incomes, weak social protection, etc.) have not always been promoted with the view to provide high quality services at a low price. While commercial approaches to microfinance have resulted in aggressive competition and have been in many ways detrimental to the poorest (overindebtedness), other actors have shown concern with trying to find a trade-off between social mission and financial sustainability. Challenges include appropriate access to funding, adequate regulation, balance between growth and quality of service and the possibility of scaling up.
Dilemmas considering processes of inclusion include the issue of social and solidarity economy: To what degree does bancarization support or curtail such initiatives? How does financial inclusion favor or impede social sector’s potential of coping with everyday life?
This two-day seminar/think-tank will focus on the issue of financial inclusions in Latin America. The purpose is to bring together a group of researchers, policy makers and front line field-workers who are involved in research and/or practice on this topic to discuss the implications of diverse forms of financial inclusion, taking cases from Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. For the Day 2 listing, please click here.