Doha Bank CEO says accounts are key to financial inclusion

Doha Bank CEO R. Seetharaman spoke of a new financial inclusion model last week as he addressed the world’s top banking leaders at the International Banking Summit – an initiative he believes will provide developing nations firmer financial stability.

At the heart of Seetharaman’s proposal is the goal of increasing the number of people with bank accounts, which he argues would serve to reduce income inequality, create jobs and lessen the risk of unexpected income loss.

“There is a global push toward financial inclusion which is gaining strength,” Seetharaman said at the summit. “The emerging countries have witnessed wider participation from its people.” He said that’s because people with bank accounts are less at risk to lose money and have wider opportunities in how they use that money.

“People who are ‘unbanked’ find it harder to save, plan for the future, start a business or recover from a crisis,” Seetharaman said.

A key to making banking accessible to the whole of a nation’s population lies in technical literacy. That kind of national movement takes initiative and investment. As an example, Seetharaman points to Qatar’s Digital Government 2020 Strategy that aims to advance the nation’s levels of digital inclusion, literacy and information technology skills.

As those digital skills grow, so will the number of people with bank accounts and access to the financial industry, which Seetharaman thinks will provide more economic stability around the world.

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