Financial Inclusion Expo aims unbanked population in Highlands Region

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Financial Inclusion Expo aims unbanked population in Highlands Region

It is not often that you get all financial institutions together in one place with people in the community however, that was accomplished by the Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province recently.

Over 20 financial institutions, telecommunication companies, financial education partners, NGO’s and other stakeholders were part of the 2016 Financial Inclusion Exposition that was held in Mt Hagen on the 15th and 16th of July.

Participating organizations took time to talk to the public about the financial products and services that they have, assisted the public in opening new accounts and financial literacy and education training during the expo.

Bank of PNG Governor, Mr Loi Bakani while officially opening the two day event, mentioned that BPNG is driving financial inclusion to help 70-80% of the people in the country who do not have access to any form of financial services. It has also established the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) dedicated to undertake financial inclusion programs.

He further stressed that the aim of the Government and the Central Bank is to reduce the percentage of people who are unbanked in the country so that the people can access financial services available and contribute meaningfully to economic growth and improve their wellbeing.

The Governor also urged participating institutions to continue to provide financial literacy training to the people, especially those in rural areas so that people become aware of the various financial products and services provided by the financial institutions. They also need to be knowledgeable about better ways to budget and save, and generally to have the correct attitudes towards managing money.

Governor added that while that is the aim of both the Government and the Central Bank, it is also important for the public to know that bringing financial services and products to them is costly and urged them to take care of the services that are being provided.

People from all over highlands region converged at Queen Park oval where financial institutions were taken to task listening to and attending to queries from the public regarding their products and services. People visited various stalls to collect information, identify the most suitable financial services and attend financial training.

Official tally taken during the expo indicated an increase in the number of women attendees in the expo among the total of 30,432 registered at the gates. This number is the highest compared to other expositions that were hosted previously by BPNG.

Authorised by: Loi M Bakani, CMG

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