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CECA encourages inclusive and sustainable finance at the World Congress of Paris

CECA is a member of the World Institute of Savings Banks and Retail Banks, which has concluded its 26th World Congress in Paris.

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CECA encourages inclusive and sustainable finance at the World Congress of Paris

CECA is a member of the World Institute of Savings Banks and Retail Banks, which has concluded its 26th World Congress in Paris. The focus was on sustainable finance in the context of the current complex environment.

The Declaration of Paris 2022 was approved by its members during the two-day meeting. It is a backbone document that promotes sustainable finance in order to ensure economic resilience of communities. This statement calls on regulators to harmonize and coordinate different taxonomies and offers design principles that encourage interoperability as well as mutual recognition. This measure will promote sustainable cross-border finance and reduce compliance costs. The EU-China Common Ground Taxonomy is a promising first step towards achieving this goal. It uses a common language that facilitates comparison and avoids duplication.

Isidro Faine, president of WSBI, the 'la Caixa’ Banking Foundation, and CECA opened the meeting by stating that "feeling, and acting in a responsible way is intrinsically linked to our identity." It is part of who we are, our DNA, our calling. This all translates into our banking approach, which is fundamentally different than other players in this sector, and more importantly, it is profitable, efficient, and fair." I addressed the over 200 participants from across the globe, who met in Paris for the first-time since 2018.

The WSBI was established in 1924 and represents over 6,000 savings and retail banking institutions from all over the globe. They have nearly 2,000 million clients and offer financial services primarily to SMEs and families.

Under the title "Rooted in the Community", the Paris World Congress took place in Paris on July 7-8. Globally responsible, the WSBI 3Rs model – retail, responsible, and rooted – is a strategy that will help build a more inclusive, sustainable society.

Experts from the financial sector and different countries discussed the key issues in the current economic-financial agenda. They included regulatory harmonization in sustainable financing; digitization and its effect on financial inclusion; as well as the broad scope of social responsibility in recovery environments and geopolitical shifts that are currently coexisting at the global level.

Reinhold Messner, an ecologist, and mountaineer who promotes a more sustainable development model, and whose foundation assists mountain villages around the globe to deal with the effects of global warming, delivered a keynote address on sustainable banking during times of climate change.

Mairead McGuinness, European Commission Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, and Jose Manuel Campa, President, European Banking Authority, were two prominent representatives from the international regulatory sector. Carme Artigas (Secretary of State for Digitization, and AI of Government of Spain), has also appeared via video. This triennial meeting was also attended by Santiago Carbo (director of Financial Studies at FUNCAS), Christian Castro (general director of CECA), Jose Maria Mendez (general director of CECA), Shlomo Be-Ami (vice president of the Toledo International Center for Peace, former Israeli ambassador to Spain), and Christian Castro (director of Public Affairs of CaixaBank).

Parallel to the World Congress, Scale2Save (S2S), a program that promotes financial inclusion, was presented. It will be ending on August 31, after six years of active work. This program was developed by WSBI and the Mastercard Foundation. It aims to promote financial inclusion by establishing basic savings accounts in developing nations and financial education projects.

S2S has exceeded its numerical goal to reach one million customers with over a million registered users as of March 31, and an average 20% monthly activity rate for the past twelve months. S2S was able to successfully carry out projects in countries such as Ivory Coast and Senegal, Senegal (Nigeria), Senegal, Senegal, Tanzania, Kenya, Senegal, Senegal, Senegal, Senegal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda thanks to its budget of over 16 million dollars.

CECA is an active participant in the international associations - World Savings and Retail Banking Institute WSBI (World Savings and Retail Banking Institute) and European Savings Banks Group ESBG (ESBG), which represent the retail banking model that prioritizes financing families and SMEs. CECA feels fully connected to this model.

The WSBI and CECA are linked to fulfill their mission of representing and defending its members' interests in both national and international forums. The WSBI is a global organization that helps savers and retailers banks to prosper. It is a forum for knowledge exchange between members and focuses on international regulatory issues affecting the financial sector.

During the General Assembly in Paris last November, Isidro Faine, president of CECA, and the "la Caixa" Banking Foundation renewed his three year term as president of The World Institute. Financial inclusion, promotion of sustainable finances, and the exchange of best practice in the implementation the new solvency framework, and innovation, seeking to make digitization a tool for improving customer intimacy are some of the priorities established. The Paris 2022 Declaration confirms the path that the international organization had taken a year ago.

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