Although there have been some inroads to making financial inclusion a reality in Papua New Guinea (PNG), much still remains to be done to have everyone have access to financial services.
This was the message from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Treasury, Charles Abel when launching the Financial Sector Development Strategy (FSDS) 2018 to 2030 and the National Financial Inclusion policy recently.
The number of the banked population is slowing increasing with 14.5% in 2013 when financial inclusion started, to 27% in 2018.
“But still that means the majority of our people, nearly three-quarters remain without access to formal financial services,” said Minister Abel.
“We know that those excluded tend to be in the low income in the rural areas and urban settlements with women particularly excluded.”
That is why the government wants to see tangible outcomes from the strategy and the policy launched.
“We want to see more people with access to financial services, have more choices to manage the money, have access to service facilities and set aside savings for the future,”the Minister said.
The National Financial Inclusion policy provides strategic direction for the development of a full inclusive financial sector. The policy also complements the FSDS in that it tackles financial inclusion, which is one of its areas to cover in assessing and improving the country’s financial sector.
The FSDS itself charts a course for taking PNG’s financial services to a next level of development by assessing the current strengths and weakness of the financial sector and outlines strategic directions for the future.
Meanwhile, the policy will be implemented by the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion(CEFI) and the Bank of PNG in collaboration with key government, civil society and private sector entities.