Jersey has a "vital role to play" in helping create financial markets that are inclusive of the poorest communities, the director of the World Bank Group has said.
Greta Bull, who is also Chief Executive of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), a global organisation set up to help the world’s poorest people access basic financial services, made the comments as she visited the island this week.
She was visiting on the invitation of Jersey Overseas Aid to learn more about the island’s aid programme and finance sector, and how the two can work together to put the island's strengths into action.
The World Bank established CGAP to end extreme poverty by giving poor people access to financial services such as bank accounts, small loans and insurance. It is estimated that around 1.7 billion people around the world are ‘unbanked’ and do not have any financial accounts.
During her visit, Ms Bull met the Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey, and the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré. She discussed the role of the island as a financial services centre in building responsible and inclusive financial systems that help move people out of poverty, protect their gains and advance global development goals.
Financial inclusion is now one of Jersey Overseas Aid’s key areas of focus. The organisation is already partnering with Comic Relief in a four-year pound-for-pound programme that will bring basic financial services to nearly one million poor people in Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Zambia.
Pictured: Deputy Carolyn Labey, the Minister for International Development.
Deputy Labey said that she was looking forward to discussing how Jersey could use its position to combat global poverty. “We are a jurisdiction with a suite of expertise in the field of financial services and have the opportunity to use it to help make a difference,” she said.
“We are going to introduce Ms Bull to Jersey, show her what we’re doing and talk about what else we could be doing. In terms of our commitment to overseas aid, we are adding value to our programmes by contributing our knowledge and expertise in this area and where we can add value by playing to Jersey’s strengths.”
Ms Bull also visited the Jersey Financial Services Commission to discuss the role of the island’s regulator in ensuring good practice, and Jersey Finance to find out about private sector involvement in financial inclusion.
Ms Bull said: “As a leader in global finance, Jersey has a vital role to play in helping foster inclusive and responsible financial markets that meet the needs of poor people. We have seen over the past decade just how important inclusive financial systems are to the stability, safety and successful functioning of economies and markets.
"CGAP applauds Jersey’s interest in exploring ways it can contribute its knowledge and expertise toward financial inclusion. We all benefit from creating opportunities and advancing the livelihoods of the least advantaged.”
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