Mumbai, 23 August 2010: Barclays Bank Plc, India today announced the launch of a new initiative, “Banking on Change", a savings led microfinance programme which is being implemented in partnership with CARE International and Plan International. Banking on Change is being implemented across 11 countries in Asia, Africa and South America, with a total budget of INR 70 crores. The Banking on Change India Programme has a sanctioned budget of INR 5.46 crores to be granted to CARE International and Plan International over the next three years.
This partnership focuses on savings-led community finance initiatives which are effective in meeting the needs of the poor – providing a way to manage their money and increase their ability to deal with life emergencies. The partnership has 3 main objectives:
•Outreach: Make use of savings-led community approaches to reach clients who are excluded from or have limited access to formal or informal financial services;
•Impact: Achieve positive socio-economic impact on poor people through the provision of basic financial services within communities that enable people to manage their household finances, and through development of new add-on services (such as enterprise training) and improvement of existing savings-led community finance methodology; and
•Inclusion: Target and reach new or existing clients to improve their level of financial inclusion through the use and trialling of informal and formal financial services, channels and products tailored to the requirements of communities.
The program objectives for India are defined as follows:
•Demonstrate access and sustainability of financial services
•Demonstrate cost effectiveness of promoting and linking women groups in a rapidly maturing microfinance market
•Demonstrate social and economic empowerment of beneficiary women
“India is a rapidly maturing market with microfinance institutions spreading rapidly to reach out effectively to the lower income strata of society. Through the Banking on Change programme, in association with CARE International and Plan International we aim to provide access to financial services through authorised channels to these people, with a special focus on marginalised women. With experienced partners in Care and Plan we expect to successfully fulfill these objectives within the three year period.” said Karan Bhagat, Managing Director & Country Head, Barclays Corporate India.
This is an extremely important and strategic partnership for CARE India and Barclays will help promote community based microfinance institutions that strengthen self-help groups, unleashing their potential as vehicles for advancing financial inclusion and eventually helping communities move out of poverty” said R N Mohanty, Chief Operating Officer, CARE India.
“Plan India is excited and privileged to enter into a strategic alliance with Barclays Bank to help improve the quality of life for economically disadvantaged people by extending, innovating and accelerating sustainable access to savings and other financial services. This alliance combines Plan’s programmatic capacity in the field of micro-finance with Barclay’s expertise of the financial sector with the over arching aim of poverty alleviation” said Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director, Plan India.