Financial services are a fundamental right of access, says the State Bank Governor

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Governor State Bank of Pakistan addressing the opening ceremony of Pakistan Financial Inclusion Week from Lernen Resource Center, State Bank of Pakistan Karachi, stated that the State Bank acknowledges the importance of access to financial services as a fundamental right, and its mission is to empower every citizen to participate in the economy by providing necessary information and tools through State Bank.

The event was attended by executives and CEOs of commercial banks, World Bank, senior officials of Alliance for Financial Inclusion, and other teams. The Governor highlighted that there has been a significant increase of 25-30% in access to banking services in comparison to the adult population in recent days, as the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital services in the country. By providing essential knowledge and skills to organize financial transactions in a sensible manner, we empower people to break the cycle of poverty, plan for the future, and take advantage of economic opportunities.

By leading various initiatives in partnership with banks to increase access and easy availability of financial services, the State Bank has introduced special schemes to expand financial inclusion. These schemes include SAFAF for easy finance, refinance and credit guarantee scheme for women entrepreneurs, credit lines for MSMEs, and Prime Minister Youth Business and Agriculture Loan Scheme.

Furthermore, State Bank is constantly vigilant in enhancing access and utilization of financial services for the general public and businesses so that their financial needs can be met transparently and with dignity. The Governor acknowledged the commercial banks’ active participation in the National Financial Inclusion Program since 2017 by presenting Excellence Awards to various banks. Panel discussions were held in the second session where experts and researchers exchanged views on the future prospects of digital finance.

Panel participants representing different sectors expressed the transformation of the financial industry by technology, and discussions were focused on practical measures to ensure secure and inclusive digital finance. State Bank has formed an active ecosystem in collaboration with relevant teams to align with the developments in technology.

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