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Using Jersey’s wealth of experience to help the poor

05 February 2019

Greta Bull

​The director of a global organisation set up to help the world’s poorest people access basic financial services has been invited to the island by Jersey Overseas Aid to find out how Jersey can lend its expertise.

Greta Bull, the chief executive of the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) and a director at the World Bank Group, will on Thursday (7 February) meet the Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey and the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, to learn more about the island’s aid programme and finance sector, and how the two can work together to put Jersey’s strengths into action.

Roughly 1.7 billion people around the world are ‘unbanked’ and do not have any financial accounts. They cannot, therefore, save for their children’s education, take out a loan to buy seeds and fertilisers or buy insurance to protect them from medical or natural disasters. The World Bank established CGAP to end extreme poverty by giving poor people access to financial services such as bank accounts, small loans and insurance.

During her visit, which has been organised by Jersey Overseas Aid, Ms Bull will discuss with Ministers the role of the island as a financial services centre in building responsible and inclusive financial systems that help move people out of poverty, protect their gains and advance global development goals.

Financial inclusion is now one of Jersey Overseas Aid’s key areas of focus. The organisation is already partnering with Comic Relief in a four-year pound-for-pound programme that will bring basic financial services to nearly one million poor people in Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Zambia.

Deputy Labey said that she was looking forward to discussing how Jersey could use its position to combat global poverty.

“We are a jurisdiction with a suite of expertise in the field of financial services and have the opportunity to use it to help make a difference,” she said. “We are going to introduce Ms Bull to Jersey, show her what we’re doing and talk about what else we could be doing. In terms of our commitment to overseas aid, we are adding value to our programmes by contributing our knowledge and expertise in this area and where we can add value by playing to Jersey’s strengths.”

Ms Bull said: “As a leader in global finance, Jersey has a vital role to play in helping foster inclusive and responsible financial markets that meet the needs of poor people. We have seen over the past decade just how important inclusive financial systems are to the stability, safety and successful functioning of economies and markets. CGAP applauds Jersey’s interest in exploring ways it can contribute its knowledge and expertise toward financial inclusion. We all benefit from creating opportunities and advancing the livelihoods of the least advantaged.”

As well as meeting Ministers, Ms Bull will visit the Jersey Financial Services Commission to discuss the role of the island’s regulator in ensuring good practice, and Jersey Finance to find out about private sector involvement in financial inclusion.

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