METLIFE FOUNDATION SPONSORS STUDY ON FINANCIAL INCLUSION IN JAPAN
TOKYO, JAPAN, July 20, 2016
MetLife Foundation is proud sponsor of a series of research reports published by Japan NPO Center to help raise awareness and promote initiatives on financial inclusion in Japan.
The concept of financial inclusion is still relatively new in Japan. However, there are a rising number of individuals and households who find themselves in a difficult financial situation due to a decrease in savings, the inability to borrow money, and growing poverty. Working together with MetLife Insurance K.K. on financial inclusion, one of the company’s theme-based CSR activities in Japan since last year, MetLife Foundation has seen this as an opportunity to identify emerging needs around financial inclusion while advocating for further dialogue on this topic on the policy front.
The study, which was conducted in two phases, looked at the demographics of financial exclusion in Japan and innovations in financial inclusion in the U.S. and U.K. that can potentially be replicated in the Japanese market. Phase 1 of the study identified individuals and households who are currently excluded from mainstream financial services but could benefit from better financial access to boost their overall financial health. The study shows that people prone to financial exclusion in Japan are likely to be trapped in a “service vacuum” between systems as their income level impedes access to mainstream financial services but is not low enough to qualify for public welfare. Phase 2 which explores innovations in financial inclusion in the U.S. and the U.K. examines how their lessons could be replicated in Japan to facilitate a much needed policy dialogue.
As a national infrastructure organization for the nonprofit sector, the Japan NPO Center works to build new and innovative forms of partnership across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, encouraging them to act as co-creators of a robust civil society. Given that the pressing issues around financial inclusion in Japan are complex and require cross-sector approaches to fill the unmet needs, Japan NPO Center was well positioned to lead this research effort leveraging its existing network of partners across the nation and sectors, particularly in conducting focus group interviews with grassroots nonprofits that have access to the underserved sectors of Japan.
The research reports (together with an infographic) have been produced in Japanese and English and are available for download on both Japan NPO Center (http://www.jnpoc.ne.jp/?page_id=11428) and MetLife Insurance K.K. website (http://www.metlife.co.jp/about/csr/theme/fi/).
“The Japan NPO Center has been a trusted partner for the Foundation in this seminal research on financial inclusion in Japan,” said Dennis White, President & CEO, MetLife Foundation. “We hope that the study will advance the much needed conversation around financial inclusion both at the policy level and for the practitioner.”
In 2013, MetLife Foundation committed $200 million over five years towards advancing financial inclusion globally. To date, it has committed more than $103 million towards meeting that goal, with close to $30 million invested in programs in Asia alone. The Foundation defines financial inclusion as a means by which households and businesses have convenient access to a full suite of quality, affordable financial services, delivered by trustworthy providers with respect for the customer. The Japan NPO Center is one such partner that will help MetLife Foundation, and other providers, better understand the issues around financial exclusion in Japan and offer potential solutions.
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 2015, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $700 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 to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. For more information, please visit https://www.metlife.com/metlife-foundation/index.html