IDB Group Launches FINLAC, an Initiative to Promote Financial Inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group launched FINLAC at an event last week at IDB headquarters in Washington, D.C., a new initiative to promote financial inclusion by ensuring that the most vulnerable people in Latin America and the Caribbean can access the financial services they need.

FINLAC, a joint effort by the IDB, IDB Invest and IDB Lab, serves as a one-stop shop for advancing financial inclusion, supporting governments, accompanying firms, and igniting innovation in developing and implementing effective policies, reforms and business practices to create inclusive financial markets in the region.

Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the world’s most underserved regions in financial services. About 27% of persons aged 15 and older are excluded from formal financial services, compared to 3% in high-income countries. Only three in 10 persons aged 15 and older have obtained a loan with a financial-sector entity in the last year, as opposed to three in five adults in high-income countries.

The initiative will prioritize understanding the barriers to financial inclusion faced by rural communities, indigenous and Afro-descendant populations, women, migrants, older adults, and micro and small businesses; promoting digital transformation to accelerate financial inclusion and resilience; enhancing payment ecosystems to facilitate fast retail transactions; and enabling responsible and consented financial consumer data sharing with third parties, known as open finance.