Against financial isolation

We are not alone. The social animal that we are, according to Aristotle, needs to be in the reflection of the other. However, among the times of hyperconnec

Against financial isolation

We are not alone. The social animal that we are, according to Aristotle, needs to be in the reflection of the other. However, among the times of hyperconnectivity they run, we have been cast as the vulnerability of people isolated by the circumstances and, therefore, deprived of its autonomy, of its ability to decisively share the society of all. Cases such as those of developing countries or populated areas of Spain, in which some renowned finances have a lot to say.

The report "Financial Inclusion in Spain" of the AFI Consultant establishes "access to useful and affordable financial services, which meet the needs of citizens in a responsible and sustainable manner" as "the key to financial inclusion, a necessary condition for a Sustained and inclusive economic growth ".

The World Bank adds, has identified the largest financial exclusion bags in emerging countries. As explained Luis Monge, Director of Sustainability of Santander Spain, this is because "governments, authorities and policy makers of these countries have not managed to implement and extend a basic welfare state between broad layers of their population", so that "Your exposure to any problem is much greater."

The solution consists of "activating new mechanisms of international cooperation that help to rebuild the economy from a social transformation, but it is also necessary to establish commitments with governments, who must assume their responsibility. Cooperation can not be a blank check, but a Execution lever with indicators and constant tracking ".

Technology has been revealed as the great ally. According to AFI, the World Bank has found that the provision of financial services through mobile phones is acting as "an effective mechanism of financial inclusion that saves stages of the financial development process followed in the most advanced countries." Monge coincides, but wants more: "Technology is a tool of change with a huge potential. The challenge is to make it even more accessible, universal, cheap and tailored to people."

The Spanish situation in financial inclusion is optimal in the global comparison, but there is still work to be done. The AFI Report recalls that, in countries such as ours, "the degree of financial inclusion is considered virtually universal. More than 95% of the population has bank accounts and there are no significant differences or by gender by income strata."

But, as Marisa Herráez, Deputy Director explains from a Santander office in Ávila, still "there are many people without access to minimum banking services such as having a savings account, domiving your receipts, making transfers or using the ATM." In this context, Banco Santander "has been working through platforms or services specific to access to banking services, tailored financing for individuals and SMEs with difficulties in obtaining credit or economic difficulties, and financial education."

More specifically, AFI puts the accent on the process of depopulation in broad territories of our geography. In the last two decades, the population of small municipalities --1,000 inhabitants or less - has lost 142,000 inhabitants, a fall of 8.9%. In addition, it is experiencing an increase in the longevity that has been located in the area known technically as "overengingness", with municipalities in which half of the population exceeds 80 years. In these territories, "evolution shows a greater number of populations without access to a bank office", and "more even in a banking business environment without margins and with a growing digitalization of the clientele, accelerated by the COVID-19".

According to Herráez, Banco Santander "has been able to react quickly" in those areas with "new formulas as the offices of collaborating agents", and has continued to attend their clients "through digital or telephone channels for all their efforts. In addition, It has been tried to shorten as much as possible the digital divide, with personalized attention and advice to those who need it ", always aware of the difficulties that go through" people older, or not of so much but that for other issues were not accustomed to doing Banking efforts. We have to help them, accompany them and give them the hand to perform them through the most suitable channels for them. If they can not use an app, for example, we derive them to the telephone channel and to the ATM. " In any case, "although at first they have their doubts and their fears, with practice and our support, finally all this does not seem so complicated."

Perhaps the greatest impulse to win autonomy comes from financial education. In this sense, the Finance for Mortal Program "tries to bring close the basic levels of bank knowledge clearly and easily, with a nearby language. Our entity has agreements with the different education counseling of the Autonomous Communities to impart the Conference in Schools , institutes and universities, in collaboration with Red Cross and other associations and NGOs. " This year, in addition, an agreement has been signed with penance institutions "to bring the basic finance concepts for reintegration", and "specific programs to help autonomous and future entrepreneurs" are also taught.

The intersection with the public sector is also fundamental. The AFI report explains that the task of inclusion "requires a significant collaboration between banking and different public administrations." It is the case of the Cash Correos service, which describes Herráez: "It is a novel and revolutionary access service offered by Banco Santander" so that, "where there is no Bank's office or any collaborating agent, they can be revenued and revenue In cash through the post offices, requesting it in the APP, the Web, directly at the corresponding office - pressing the Santander card and the identity document - or even through its portfolio network. "

Updated Date: 15 October 2021, 05:35

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