Financial Inclusion: Macroeconomic and Regulatory Challenges

Monday, April 11, 9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Washington DC

April 11, 2017

Financial inclusion—broad access to and use of financial services—is distinctly moving up the reform agenda, both in individual countries and at the international level. To date, more than 60 governments across the world have set financial inclusion as a formal target, including as part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. In this vein, the IMF and the Center for Global Development hosted a half day, high-level conference where an array of top experts debated the macroeconomic benefits and regulatory challenges involved in promoting financial inclusion.

9:15 am
Introductory Remarks by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, IMF
9:25 am

Session I: Financial Inclusion: Macroeconomic and Regulatory Challenges

Financial inclusion is critical to inclusive growth and economic stability. If done responsibly, it can also strengthen financial stability. But if not well managed, financial inclusion—and credit expansion—can undermine financial stability. This session addressed three issues: How to manage the financial stability effects of financial inclusion and deepening? How should decision-makers prioritize among policies to achieve the biggest social impact?


Moderator: Rajesh Mirchandani, Vice President, Communications and Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development

Presenters: Martin Čihák, Deputy Director and Advisor, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF


Ratna Sahay, Deputy Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF

Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research, World Bank Group

Gargee Ghosh, Director, Development Policy & Finance, Gates Foundation

Subir Gokarn, Executive Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Sri Lanka at the International Monetary Fund, and Former Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India

Ross Levine, Willis H. Booth Chair in Banking and Finance Haas School of Business University of California, Berkeley

11:05 am

Session II: Financial Inclusion and Regulation

A suitable regulatory environment has been central to the progress in financial inclusion achieved in many developing and other countries. But not all countries have this yet. This session centered around a CGD Task Force Report, that identifies regulatory approaches conducive to financial inclusion by encouraging innovation and the use of new technologies, especially those related to digital finance, while protecting consumers and ensuring the stability and integrity of the overall financial system. The session addressed three key regulatory issues: What should a pro-inclusive competition policy be? How can regulations support leveling the playing field between providers? And how should know-your-customer rules be designed?


Moderator: José Viñals, Financial Counsellor and Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF

Presenters: Stijn Claessens, Senior Advisor, Federal Reserve Board, and Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development


Timothy Adams, CEO, Institute of International Finance

Tilman Ehrbeck, Partner at Omidyar Network

Nicolas Véron, Senior Fellow at Bruegel and Visiting Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics

12:35 pm
Concluding Remarks by Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development