Global Standard-Setting Bodies and Financial Inclusion: The Evolving Landscape

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The March 2016 GPFI White Paper, Global Standard-Setting Bodies and Financial Inclusion: The Evolving Landscape, builds on the considerable progress in recent years in integrating financial inclusion into the work of global standard-setting bodies (SSBs) and looks forward, examining new challenges in the changing landscape of the digitization of financial services.

In just the few years since the October 2011 GPFI White Paper, Standard-Setting and Financial Inclusion for the Poor—Toward Proportionate Standards and Guidance, recognition has grown as to the impact of the global financial sector standard-setting bodies (SSBs) on who gets access to what range and quality of formal financial services and at what cost. During this period, the SSBs have acted on most of the observations and recommendations in the first GPFI White Paper. There is still far to go, but the advances are noteworthy. Appreciation has also grown as to the important role that digitization of financial services plays in reaching financially excluded and underserved customers, and the implications of this development for the SSBs.

This second GPFI White Paper, Global Standard-Setting Bodies and Financial Inclusion: The Evolving Landscape, aims to raise awareness of the changing landscape, to inform ongoing work by the SSBs and other global bodies, and to promote the integration of financial inclusion objectives into standards and guidance that can be applied effectively at the country level. The audiences include the SSBs and other relevant global bodies, country-level policymakers who apply SSB standards and guidance, assessors of country-level implementation of SSB standards and guidance, industry actors, and development professionals.

This White Paper considers primarily the standards and guidance of the following global bodies engaged in work relevant to financial inclusion, outlining the relevant work of each of them: the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (BCBS), the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI), the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). 

The evolving phenomenon of “digital financial inclusion” – and the implications of this development for the SSBs are themes that run through all of the crosscutting issues discussed in the 2016 GPFI White Paper, including discussions of:

  • Frontiers in inclusive financial consumer protection
  • Competition and interoperability
  • Customer identity and privacy
  • Crowdfunding at the base of the pyramid
  • De-risking and financial exclusion
  • Emerging issues in supervision and financial inclusion

The 2016 GPFI White Paper concludes with observations that synthesise the broad themes introduced and with recommendations for further engagement. The implementation of the Recommendations in the 2016 GPFI White Paper is expected to be a multi-stakeholder, multiyear process. The GPFI will support the SSBs to prioritize activities and help determine where the engagement of multiple SSBs is desirable and within what timeframe.