Financial inclusion - a powerful accelerator of economic progress to help achieve the goals of eliminating extreme poverty

The first “Inclusive Finance India Global Summit” in Delhi, organized by ACCESS, a national think tank, was inaugurated on Monday (December 8) by Shri HR Khan, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The two days of deliberations at the Summit covered issues related to Financial Inclusion, Financial Education and Financial Stability, and built a Financial Inclusion Vision 2020. MetLife Foundation is proud to be one of the two principal partners in the Inclusive Finance Summit.

Financial inclusion can help achieve the goals of eliminating extreme poverty and building shared prosperity. Inclusive financial systems allow poor people to insure themselves against economic vulnerabilities they face. Financial inclusion enables poor people to save and to borrow - allowing them to build their assets, to invest in education and livelihoods opportunities, and thus to improve their quality of life. Financial inclusion has gained prominence in recent years, across the world, as a policy objective to improve the lives of the poor. Recognizing that 2.5 billion adults worldwide are ‘unbanked’, the World Bank has put forward a vision for achieving universal financial access by 2020. More than 50 countries, including India, have made ambitious commitments to financial inclusion targets.

Bringing together over one thousand delegates from around the world, including sector experts, policy makers, regulators and bankers, the Inclusive Finance India Summit brought in best practices from around the world, including technology solutions that have delivered, efficient private sector models that demonstrate efficiency, and government policies that can enable progress in financial inclusion.

“It is important to bring a larger constituency of stakeholders, beyond just the government, RBI and banks to assess and analyze its performance” stated Vipin Sharma, CEO of ACCESS Development Services. “Over the next five years, the Inclusive Finance India Summit will track India’s progress towards financial inclusion, benchmark progress against other countries and help to build an enabling environment.”

The Indian Government’s new financial inclusion scheme is very well aligned with MetLife Foundation’s global strategy to focus on financial inclusion. MetLife Foundation has pledged over $200 million globally for the cause of financial inclusion while Asia is an important region for MetLife Foundation to pursue financial inclusion.

“In Asia, we are currently supporting a number of financial inclusion projects in different communities and have more in the pipeline. MetLife Foundation has approved grants of approximately $6 million in Asia to date in 2014 for different community programs. These grants represent the first part of a five-year, multi-million dollar, commitment that the Foundation has announced in support of financial inclusion. In the upcoming months, we will continue to roll out projects in India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Myanmar and Vietnam to promote financial inclusion,” said Simon Smith, Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications of MetLife Asia Limited, “The increased grants in financial inclusion underscore our unwavering commitment to empowering people to take charge of their future and helping the communities we serve to pursue more from life.”

Speaking at the Summit, Tarun Chugh, Managing Director & CEO of PNB MetLife in India said, “Financial Inclusion is one of the key priorities of our Government and the need of the hour. For our country to move from a developing to a developed nation, we need to bring financial services and education to every doorstep. We believe that through our shared agenda on financial inclusion we have much to offer. Our government has the power and capabilities to create a stable regulatory framework; we, at PNB MetLife, are keen to support financial inclusion by reaching out to low-income and poor people with the powerful financial products and services.”

In the Summit, ACCESS also launched the Inclusive Finance India Report 2014 – State of Sector Report and Social Performance Report with its partners including MetLife Foundation, The World Bank Group, NABARD, RaboBank, SIDBI, UNDP and Citi Microfinance. The Inclusive Finance India Report 2014presents an in-depth research and analysis in financial inclusion within the financial system of India. This report focuses on recent developments in inclusive financing and efforts by governments and banks in extending financial services to the unbanked and underbanked populations. It tracks the progress of financial inclusion initiatives across institutional structures and delivery models, including the main microfinance channels. It contributes to an understanding of the complexities of the financial inclusion process, reviews policy development on inclusive finance, and highlights key challenges and opportunities for diverse stakeholders.

ACCESS is a not-for-profit company whose overall aim is to promote sustainable and innovative livelihoods promotion models to improve the economic well-being of primary producers. ACCESS works to build inclusive value chains that enable greater accrual of benefits for the producers. The ACCESS programmes on the ground largely focus on enhancing productivity of small and marginal farmers. ACCESS also provides technical support services to large poverty reduction programmes and a few of its initiatives seek to influence, inform and support pro-poor policy. ACCESS operates in nine states of the country.

About MetLife Foundation 
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2013, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $600 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit

About MetLife 
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the largest life insurance companies in the world. Founded in 1868, MetLife is a global provider of life insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management. Serving approximately 100 million customers, MetLife has operations in nearly 50 countries and holds leading market positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit

About PNB MetLife 
PNB MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (PNB MetLife) is a joint venture between MetLife International Holdings Inc. (MIHI), Punjab National Bank Limited (PNB), Jammu & Kashmir Bank Limited (JKB), M. Pallonji and Company Private Limited and other private investors, with MIHI and PNB being the majority shareholders. PNB MetLife was previously known as MetLife India Insurance Company Limited (MetLife India) and has been present in India since 2001. PNB MetLife is present in over 140 locations across the country and serves customers in more than 7,000 locations through its bank partnerships with PNB, JKB and Karnataka Bank Limited.


MetLife Asia Limited
Eunice Cheng
PNB MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd.
Pooja Khan