The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced recently that its programs funded by the organization's Early Transition Countries (ETC) Fund have educated more than 160,000 people in financial literacy.
The program included five banks in the countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Georgia, Moldova and Tajikistan. The banks provided 20 financial advisers for the purpose of giving free advice to people who had little to no knowledge of banking.
CIS countries are known for having little financial involvement. Many people in the countries rely on money sent from family members working in other countries for their livelihood.
"The money saved at home, when brought into formal financial institutions, can benefit not only the individual in terms of interest accumulation, safety and a credit history but also the banks and the country's economy," Sibel Beadle, the creator of the ETC program, said. "Yet remittances are often overlooked when considering approaches for increasing financial inclusion. The EBRD programme therefore was designed to fill a gap."
Of participants in the program, 18 percent chose to open an account in the first month. In total, nearly 27,500 new accounts have been opened.
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