State Bank of Pakistan: Microfinance Role Vital to Alleviate Poverty

Friday, December 18, 2009

KARACHI – Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Salim Raza on Saturday said that microfinance banks/institutions have a key role to play in creating economic opportunities for the poorest sections of the society by broadening their outreach.

Delivering a keynote address on “ Economic Empowerment for the Base of the Pyramid “ at the Acumen Community Gathering here, Mr. Raza said that the regulatory role develops infrastructure of service delivery, cross fertilizes from researching and encouraging use of successful global practices , and guides the provision of rules and oversight that would enable Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) build sources of public funding and deposits, said SBP release.

In developing economies, the symbiosis between the regulators and the operators will be a critical underpinning for this vital function to pull its weight as a major solution to poverty, SBP Chief said.

Referring to SBP role in supporting the development of microfinance in the country, he said the State Bank is facilitating setting up a microfinance-exclusive credit information bureau to reduce risks associated with microfinance operations and their clients.

SBP has encouraged mobile-banking by issuing branchless banking guidelines and funding a pilot to provide access to remote areas of Pakistan, he said and added that SBP is a pioneer in regulation in branchless banking in South Asia.

Source: The Nation (link opens in a new window)