Developing Countries: Financial Services

International Development written question – answered on 31st January 2011.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's policy is on financial sector development, including (a) branchless banking, (b) microfinance, (c) finance for small and medium-sized enterprises and (d) remittances.

Photo of Stephen O'Brien Stephen O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development

The Department for International Development (DFID) takes a broad based approach to financial sector development to provide stable, sustainable and affordable financial services to individuals, households and firms in developing countries.

DFID promotes branchless banking to harness the potential offered by new technologies such as mobile banking, which have made it possible for poor people to access financial services without having to travel long distances to a bank branch and at an affordable cost. We also promote the use of technology to send and receive remittances more cheaply, quickly and safely.

DFID will explore innovative financial instruments and new models to scale up financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. We will also support the development of financial market infrastructure, which is essential for attracting commercial players for financing SMEs.

Building on the lessons learned from microfinance (and in particular from micro-credit), we will continue our work to strengthen microfinance institutions and the development of new products including micro-savings and micro-insurance.

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