Amsterdam 6 May 2015 – WSBI, the global voice of retail and savings banks, and Child & Youth Finance International (CYFI), the world’s largest movement dedicated to enhancing the financial capabilities of children and youth, have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise their ongoing collaboration. The partners will work together to empower children and youth aged 8–30 years around the world, particularly those who are vulnerable and marginalized, by increasing their financial and social capabilities, developing livelihoods, and improving their access to appropriate financial services – enabling them to build their assets and invest in their own futures.
WSBI and CYFI believe that by bringing together their combined experience, global networks, and commitment they can greatly increase young people’s capabilities and inclusion, thus enhancing their social and financial empowerment.
The partners will initially combine their efforts in four areas:
- SchoolBank – An initiative to increase understanding and use of financial services among children and young people (aged 6–25). The project will promote financial inclusion and disseminate financial education through innovative channels – such as in schools and through mobile/smartphone technology – to empower children and youth in a cost-efficient way.
- Global Money Week – A worldwide CYFI initiative that employs fun and interactive activities to teach children and youth about money and saving, and about how to create livelihoods, gain employment, and become an entrepreneur. This celebration of money awareness takes place during the second week of March, and is organised by schools, universities, government ministries, central banks, financial institutions, members of civil society, and youth worldwide. WSBI and CYFI will work toward a more structural collaboration for GMW, starting with GMW 2016.
- Research – WSBI and CYFI will coordinate their research at a global, regional, and national level to generate new insights and develop their joint knowledge base. The partners will use this to develop successful financial education and inclusion policies, through examining the impact of economic citizen education and financial inclusion on the capabilities and wellbeing of youth.
- Mutual promotion – WSBI and CYFI will promote each other’s activities, events, research, and brands to grow their already extensive networks and increase their exposure – helping both partners to achieve their goals.
Chris De Noose, Managing Director WSBI, lauded the partnership as an "an exciting development that will combine WSBI members’ commitment to financial inclusion and responsible approach to business with the proven track record of CYFI in empowering and enhancing the financial capabilities of children and youth," and emphasized that it "will bring great benefits to both partners and to the young people WSBI and CYFI want to empower."
Jeroo Billimoria, Managing Director CYFI, noted that the partnership “will benefit both organizations and, more importantly, young people all around the world. Together with WSBI we will work to increase youth inclusion in the formal financial system, empower them with knowledge and skills, and create a bright future.”
WSBI – The Global Voice of Savings and Retail Banking
WSBI represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $14tn and serving one billion customers in 80 countries (as of 2013). WSBI focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the aims of the G20 in achieving sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth, and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. WSBI favours an inclusive form of globalization that is just and fair, supporting international efforts to advance financial access and financial usage for everyone.
CYFI - Empowering Youth with Financial Access, Knowledge and Skills
Child and Youth Finance International (CYFI) is an Amsterdam-based international NGO which aims to empower all children and youth around the world, particularly those who are vulnerable and marginalized, through an enhancement of their economic citizenship. This entails increasing their financial capability, improving their awareness of social and economic rights and their access to appropriate financial services in order to build their assets and invest in their own futures.