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Citi Foundation and SEEP Launch Planning Phase of Global Savings Campaign
Washington, D.C. – May 2, 2012 — The SEEP Network, with support from the Citi Foundation, is launching a campaign to address one of the most critical obstacles to achieving greater financial inclusion: widespread access to savings. This one-year partnership will set the stage for the Global Savings Campaign, a SEEP initiative to create millions of new savers among the world’s poor. Even small amounts of savings can help the world’s poorest people to emerge from poverty. They can use savings to weather unforeseen crises such as the illness of a child, provide food security for their families, and to invest in educational and income-generating opportunities.
The Global Savings Campaign will work toward a world where every person engaged in economic activity ‒ no matter how small and irregular her income ‒ has access to appropriate financial services. Access to savings is especially important because it can be used to help a person accumulate capital to invest in an enterprise or farm, smooth her cash flow to ensure her family’s basic needs always are met, respond to health emergencies, educate her children, and avoid piling up debt that could undermine her household’s future. Providing a safe and accessible savings services remains the greatest barrier to achieving this vision, as more than 2 billion people in the developing world lack access to safe and affordable savings accounts.
Demand worldwide for reliable savings services is estimated to be five times greater than the demand for loans. To meet this demand, however, delivery models need to be profitable for service providers and affordable for the poor. The cost of savings must be reduced substantially if services are to be extended to those in need.
The Campaign’s one-year planning phase will allow SEEP to work collaboratively with its membership and other industry stakeholders to:
- Write a State of the Practice report to identify existing knowledge gaps in the field;
- Develop an multi-year action agenda that includes setting global targets for new savers worldwide; and
- Form strategic alliances with other stakeholders concerned with savings and financial inclusion.
The planning phase will lead into a Global Savings Campaign which will build upon SEEP’s proven learning methodologies to develop savings services that dramatically reduce the transaction costs for financial institutions facing the challenge of managing low balance accounts while delivering real benefits to clients. Through its global membership, SEEP will build greater understanding of the needs of low income savers and support the adoption of policy reforms that allow for large-scale access to appropriate products and services.
About The SEEP Network
The SEEP Network is a nonprofit network of over 130 organizations that believe in the power of enterprise and quality financial services to reduce global poverty. Members connect in a global learning community to increase their impact in over 170 countries, where they collectively serve 89 million microentrepreneurs and their families.
About The Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation supports the economic empowerment and financial inclusion of low- to moderate-income people in communities where Citi operates. The Foundation works collaboratively with a range of partners to design and test financial inclusion innovations with potential to achieve scale and supports leadership and knowledge building activities.
For more information please contact Alison Yost at 202.534.1402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.