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Government Banking: New Perspectives on Sustainable Development and Social Inclusion from Europe and South America

Globalization and public banking institutions' contribution to development and social inclusion
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This document provides an overview of savings banks, community banks, and theories of popular economy for the financial sector. It presents proceedings of an international seminar on government banking at the São Paulo Business School of the Getulio Vargas Foundation in August 2006.

The document explores how public banking institutions can continue to contribute to sustainable development and social inclusion amidst the new forces of globalization. It states that most policy makers seek to maximize credit and finance through viable strategies that combine the virtues of liberalization with the value of traditional institutions and markets.

The document presents new research on government banking from Europe and South America concerned with strategies of sustainable development and social inclusion. It states that:

  • Pressures to modernize and remove subsidies to government banks have created new challenges for traditional banking institutions;
  • Savings banks and cooperative banks ensure access to banking and financial services for the poor, and remain central policy instruments in Europe and South America;
  • Microfinance activities have emerged as a successful instrument used by public banks to promote poverty alleviation and diminish regional disparities.