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Central bank announces national strategy for financial inclusion

Plan seeks financial services delivery at affordable costs to disadvantaged groups

By JT - Nov 22,2016 - Last updated at Nov 22,2016

AMMAN — Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) Governor Ziad Fariz on Tuesday announced the Kingdom's 2018-2020 national strategy for financial inclusion.

The strategy entails financial awareness efforts, protection of financial service recipients, supporting small- and medium-sized projects, micro-finance services and online payments, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Speaking at a forum to discuss ways to improve women's financial inclusion in the Arab world, Fariz, who inaugurated the event on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Rania, stressed the commitment of the government and the CBJ to empowering women with access to financial services at affordable costs.

Banks, micro-finance companies and e-payment providers in Jordan pay special attention to Jordanian women's needs, he said, so as to contribute to achieving financial inclusion for women in an untraditional way that saves them costs when opening and administrating traditional accounts.

Maher Sheikh Hassan, CBJ deputy governor, said the financial inclusion plan enables individuals and the business sector to access financial services and products in an appropriate way that meets their needs and helps them improve their living conditions.

Financial inclusion helps individuals and businessmen improve their daily work and encourages saving, investment and future planning, as well as focus on sustainable social and economic development, the deputy governor added.

The national strategy seeks to gather data for purposes of analysis, prior to setting fact-based policies and goals related to financial inclusion, he noted, adding that a database will be built to ensure the accuracy of applying these goals.

The national strategy is mainly driven by the need to raise the low rate of financial inclusion among adults in the Kingdom, standing at 24.6 per cent, Sheikh Hassan said, adding that this percentage is low compared to other countries that are classified under the same income category.

He stressed that the strategy will essentially focus on financially alienated categories that include adults with low income rates, micro-, small- and medium-sized projects, women, young people, non-Jordanians and refugees.

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