Finanzgruppe Sparkassenstiftung

Projects

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Armenia / Azerbaijan / Georgia / Iran / Ukraine

Regional Project Responsible Finance for the Caucasus – Financial Literacy, Consumer Protection, Responsible Finance


   
Region
Caucasus

Country
Armenia / Azerbaijan / Georgia / Iran / Ukraine
 
Beneficiary
  • Central banks, ministries of finance, justice and education, bank and microfinance associations and affiliated training institutions
  • Civil society organisations (e.g. youth organisations)
  • Different financial institutions
 
German partners
Sparkasse Märkisches Sauerland
 
Origin of funding
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
 
Dates (start/end)

01.03.2015 to 28.02.2021 (planned)

(Currently: First main project phase from 03/2015 to 02/2018)

 

 


   

Project description

The project targets to improve the economic situation of the population, in particular in the rural regions. All project activities of the Regional Project for the Caucasus are geared towards creating an adequate offer of responsible financial services including their proper utilization. Together with the local partners, the required knowledge and skills are imparted, enabling the population to make proper use of the financial services provided. On the demand side, this is particularly accomplished with the help of measures geared towards improving financial literacy.

But financial literacy is only one side of the coin. The supply side, e.g. the providers of financial services, are assisted too through qualified advisory support. This includes, for example, assistance in developing and offering savings products for low-income households, thus helping the financial institutions to deposit small savings cost-efficiently. Improving the lending procedures, for instance, also helps the customers to avoid over-indebtedness. At the same time, the quality of financial consulting is enhanced across the board, which finally has positive effects on the well-being of the customers and on the profit and risk situation of the financial institutions. In addition to that, loan-loss risks of the financial institutions involved are minimised and the long-term trust of the customers in the participating institutions is further increased.

The support rendered by the partner country’s central banks in developing and implementing national strategies of financial literacy and creating a higher level of transparency in the financial sector, finally, leads to building up the required framework for all these various measures.

The mentioned activities can be summarized under the term “Responsible Finance”. Responsible Finance targets a fair reconciliation of interests between financial institutions and their customers, staff and business partners on the one hand, and their shareholders and investors on the other hand. Eventually, this is how the successful German savings banks model is described. Under the motto “Fair – humane – close”, German Sparkassen (savings banks) interlink economic efficiency and good long-term profits with social responsibility.

 

Following two fact-finding missions to identify suitable partners, the project was extended to the countries Iran and Ukraine at the end of 2016.

 

In September 2014, the projects to strenghten savings mobilising by promoting financial literacy and consumer protection in Armenia as well as to mobilise savings in Azerbaijan and Georgia  were pooled in the Regional Project for the Caucasus.

 

 

 

Services provided

  • Raising awareness of responsible finance issues at financial institutions, central banks, institutions for consumer protection, and other government bodies
  • Developing and implementing financial literacy strategies, tailored to the specific conditions of the pertaining country
  • Developing and enhancing training material for financial literacy and organising trainings for children, young people and adults (private households and micro and small enterprises)
  • Spreading the offer of financial services, in particular to rural regions
  • Creating demand-oriented savings and loan offers, particularly customized to low-income earners
  • Improving the efficiency of working procedures of financial institutions
  • Avoiding over-indebtedness
  • Improving the quality of customer consulting
  • Increasing the population’s trust in the financial system

 

 

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