The financial system is often presented as the utility system of the economy. Obviously, it does not reflect the sector's importance. Beyond any doubt, money is the lifeblood of the economy and society. Consequently, the financial system is the cardiovascular system. Although most people may not realise it, financial services are at the heart of the daily lives of individuals and businesses. An ever-growing part of medical costs is covered by insurances. A vast number of businesses is financed by banks. The use of money is an essential part of daily life; it is a key to protection and to a better future. But here’s the twist: unfortunately, most people do not have access to these kinds of financial services.
The consequences for the absence of financial services in rural villages, slums or on the streets where low-income people live are immense. If you don’t have access to, for instance, health insurance, it is more difficult to stay healthy. And when one of your family members would get seriously ill, there is a fair chance to be thrown back into poverty. It is these kinds of vicious circles that keep billions of families across the globe from building a better life (yes – billions!).
The issue is the financial system; the laws and regulations, the written and unwritten rules, the assumptions and industry conventions. Most probably all developed with a good intention, aimed to provide protection. But at the end of the day, the resulting procedures are not geared to the daily lives of low-income people. Consequently, they are working against inclusion, in fact even excluding the majority of the people on our planet.
A key issue of the formal financial system for instance, is that many rules are products of mistrust. Mistrust distracts from the main purpose. It is therefore preferable to take the principles as the single most important point of departure, rather than the rules. It is inspiring to see how thinking results in different solutions with almost immediate impact without ">
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