Doha will soon launch a strategy on financial inclusion and literacy as part of a national strategic plan for financial sector regulation, according to Qatar Central Bank governor HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Saoud al-Thani.
In this regard, a national committee has been established with the membership of representatives of all ministries, entities and institutions that are relevant, he told a conference.
“The committee has made considerable efforts. It is now beginning the fourth and final phase which includes drafting the strategy document,” Sheikh Abdullah said, highlighting that financial inclusion has received global recognition after the financial crisis in 2008 and has become a main pillar in building comprehensive and balanced development strategies in various countries.
The strategy document will approach not only the supply-side such as access to finance, but also from demand-side as promoting financial literacy. The number of bank branches per 100,000 people — a measure of demographic financial inclusion — grew nearly 60% during 2009-16, while geographical financial inclusion (the number of bank branches per 1,000sq km) increased by roughly 10%.
The governor said promoting financial inclusions is also one of the main five goals of the Second Strategic Plan (SSP) for Financial Sector Regulation (2017-2022), which was launched last December.
As part of financial inclusion, the plan had suggested financial institutions to provide products and services without minimum balances and also facilitate the introduction of digital transactions to ensure faster, safer and efficient provision of financial services.
On enhancing the financial literacy, the SSP recommended developing campaigns to raise awareness and education on using non-traditional payment services, creating customer-friendly web pages on regulator’s websites and supporting financial education programmes at schools and universities.
It is anticipated that exploiting financial innovation and the growing digitisation and robotisation of financial operations would enable the sector to reach out in an easy and cost-effective way to customers and investors across all categories.
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