ISET Faculty Member Calls for Financial Inclusion Strategy at Banking Forum
Monday, 30 April, 2018

On April 30, 2018, Dr. Yasya Babych (ISET/MPRC) presented at the Georgian Banking Forum 2018 organized by The Financial. The conference was dedicated to the future of banking and took place at the Biltmore Hotel in Tbilisi. Among the invited speakers were Irakli Kovzanadze (Chairman of Finance and Budget Committee of the Parliament of Georgia), Murtaz Kikoria (Vice-Governor, Member of the Board of the National Bank of Georgia), Andras Hemberger(Mastercard), Kakha Kiknavelize (CEO of Bank of Georgia) and other notables.

Dr. Babych spoke about the issues of financial inclusion and financial literacy in Georgia. It is well-known that the stability of the financial system and the strength of the entire economy depend greatly on the extent to which ordinary households and businesses are financially integrated. Although in the last 27 years Georgia managed to build a strong, resilient financial system, it still remains a country with high poverty rates, low youth participation in the economy (hence the low financial inclusion of the young), low usage of the newest financial technologies, relatively low financial literacy levels, and alarmingly low savings rates for the elderly.

Dr. Babych pointed out that financial literacy is not the only obstacle to financial inclusion, and that unstable, low incomes, as well as lack of employment opportunities for young people, are all standing in the way of greater financial inclusion for households and SMEs in Georgia.

Dr. Babych called for the development of a financial inclusion strategy for Georgia that would address the issues of financial literacy, general education, youth employment, and job stability in a comprehensive, holistic manner.