Governor SBP inaugurates 1st edition of Pakistan Financial Literacy Week

Governor SBP inaugurates 1st edition of Pakistan Financial Literacy Week

Governor SBP inaugurates 1st edition of Pakistan Financial Literacy Week

Governor SBP inaugurates 1st edition of Pakistan Financial Literacy Week

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KARACHI: Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Jameel Ahmad, Monday, said that SBP fully recognizes access to financial services a fundamental right, and SBP’s mission is to empower every citizen by providing them with the tools and knowledge needed to participate fully in the economy.

He was delivering his key note address via video link to the inaugural event of Pakistan Financial Literacy Week (PFLW) held here at Learning Resource Center, SBP, Karachi. The theme for the week is ‘Digital Bankari – fori aur asaan’.

The event was attended by Presidents and CEOs of commercial banks, senior officials from the World Bank, Alliance for Financial Inclusion and other stakeholders.

The Governor said that an inclusive financial sector is not only important for overall growth of the banking industry but also augments monetary policy transmission channels and increases its effectiveness.

Jameel Ahmad stated that SBP has always been working on increasing the availability and utilization of financial services for people and businesses to meet their financial services needs in a fair and dignified manner.

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He said that the key initiatives taken for expanding financial services to the unbanked and underbanked segments of the society includes implementation of national level strategies and policies such as National Financial Inclusion Strategy, National Financial Literacy Program and Banking on Equality Policy.

He shared that SBP has been implementing a number of initiatives under the national level policies which are uniquely positioned to benefit all segments of population, i.e. RAAST, ASAAN Digital Account, ASAAN Mobile Account and more recently Digital Banks and specialized schemes to enhance access to finance.

The specialized schemes include SME Asaan Finance Scheme (SAAF), Refinance and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Women Entrepreneurs, Line of Credit for MSMEs, and Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agriculture Loan Scheme (PMYB&ALS).

Governor SBP said that these initiatives have made an impact on advancing financial inclusion in Pakistan and as of June 2023, there were around 177 million bank accounts in Pakistan, of these, 83 million were unique accounts, which is 60% of the 137 million adult population.

Total number of accounts owned by women were 49 million, of which unique accounts are 29 million, he informed adding that those 29 million unique accounts represent more than 43% of the female adult population of the country.

Although the financial inclusion indicators have shown improvement over the past few years, significant efforts are still required to catch up with regional and peer economies, the Governor said adding that in SBP’s strategic plan for the next five years “SBP Vision 2028”, we aim to strengthen the financial inclusion framework through targeted policy initiatives with enhanced focus on digital means.

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He said that financial inclusion is cornerstone of the central bank’s endeavor to expand outreach of financial services to entire population and it was very important for developing economy like Pakistan.  Financial literacy is collective responsibility of SBP, government, banks and educational institutions, he added.

Lead Financial Sector Specialist in the Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice, World Bank Group, Miquel Dijkman, speaking at the ceremony, appreciated Pakistan’s progress in financial inclusion and adoption of digital technology and termed it encouraging.

He said that financial literacy was pivotal to address the issue of underbanked population while it has potential to promote economic development and reduce poverty and SBP was taking the financial literacy seriously.

In the PFLW inauguration ceremony, the Excellence Awards were conferred upon various commercial banks that actively participated in the National Financial Literacy Program since its commencement in 2017 and contributed to improving financial literacy among the beneficiaries.

The second session of the event included a panel discussion, where experts and thought leaders explored the future landscape of digital finance. The discussion delved into emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in the rapidly evolving digital financial ecosystem.

Panelists, representing diverse sectors, shared insights on how technology is reshaping the financial industry and discussed strategies to ensure a secure and inclusive digital finance landscape.

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As financial literacy week progresses, a wide range of programs and activities, both on-ground and online have been designed to raise awareness and educate citizens on the importance of financial literacy in the evolving digital era.

The field offices of Banking Services corporation of SBP were holding activities including student poster competition in 15 cities while 157 financial literacy camps were also being organized across the country.

Besides, SBP Museum and library were also conducting various activities on the theme as well.

 

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