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Una revolución bancaria

KUALA LUMPUR – Los reguladores financieros tienen fama de ser mesurados y cautos en relación con el cambio. Pero en el mundo en desarrollo, eso está cambiando. Los presidentes de bancos centrales de algunos de los países más pobres del mundo se han mostrado dispuestos a tomar decisiones audaces y adoptar estrategias innovadoras, en una búsqueda de ampliar la participación en el sistema financiero formal, aumentar la estabilidad financiera y llevar a sus países a una senda de crecimiento económico sostenible e inclusivo.

Mejorar la inclusión financiera obliga a repensar desde las bases la estructura y el funcionamiento de los sistemas financieros de los países. A menudo también demanda usar instrumentos ajenos al juego de herramientas tradicional de los bancos centrales. Por ejemplo, los funcionarios keniatas modificaron el marco regulatorio para permitir la expansión del dinero móvil. En Malasia, el banco central lideró una iniciativa para elevar el alfabetismo financiero de la gente. Y en Filipinas, el Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ayudó a duplicar la cantidad de puntos de acceso a servicios financieros para los consumidores, apoyando la apertura de 517 oficinas de microbanca, muchas de ellas en municipios donde no hay sucursales de bancos tradicionales.

En 2011 el Banco de Tanzania asumió un compromiso concreto de aumentar el acceso a herramientas financieras, en el marco de la Declaración Maya de la Alianza para la Inclusión Financiera, una iniciativa de las autoridades del mundo en desarrollo que busca liberar el potencial social y económico de los pobres. El resultado fue impresionante y superó con creces las expectativas. Tanzania alcanzó un año antes de lo previsto el objetivo de dar al 50% de sus ciudadanos adultos acceso a servicios bancarios, lo que convierte al país en un líder mundial en provisión de servicios financieros digitales. Como en la vecina Kenia, el factor de cambio fue la difusión del dinero móvil. En palabras de Benno Ndulu, presidente del banco: “Tal vez suene osado, pero tenemos que dejar a la innovación ir por delante de la regulación”.

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