Evolving to Inclusive Finance

By Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Inclusive Finance
Mar 11, 2015 1:00 PM ET

Originally published on the Business Fights Poverty Blog

Transformative impact requires a range of financial services and products. It comes from a holistic approach, and that’s our strategy at Citi.

Over the past decade, Citi, in partnership with governments, institutional clients and non-profit organizations, has attempted to build an inclusive financial infrastructure that enables long-lasting positive impact. We’ve worked on savings, payments, credit and insurance solutions to expand access to appropriate, quality and transparent financial services -- services that enable greater financial inclusion.

This year, in recognition of the work we are already doing and to more accurately reflect Citi's commitment to the clients and communities we serve, Citi Microfinance is becoming Citi Inclusive Finance.

As the industry and our client's needs have expanded, so have the services and products we provide.

We have more than 150 commercial partnerships with microfinance institutions in 40 countries. We arranged the first capital markets transactions for microfinance institutions. And, in partnership with the U.S. Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation, we have provided more than $300 million in local currency funding to finance more than 1 million women micro-entrepreneurs.

Citi has also come to pioneer affordable and accessible mobile payments that connect some of the largest companies with the smallest producers and distributors. We created the first universal children's savings account program in the U.S. with the City of San Francisco. More recently, we arranged the first bond focused on youth, education and employment in Latin America.

Along with expanding access, the Citi Foundation has been a pioneer in supporting innovation in building clients’ financial capability – the knowledge and skills needed to find the right products and services and use them responsibly.

The demand for finance that is inclusive is only increasing, at a time of unprecedented collaboration between the public, private and nonprofit sectors to bolster economic growth. And, in many countries, policy makers and regulators are adopting financial inclusion as a national priority to achieve greater inclusive economic growth and prosperity.

We are committed to utilizing our resources and expertise to advance financial inclusion, especially when aligned with business goals and engaged with a range of stakeholders. By utilizing this broad set of tools, transformative impact is possible.