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Two million micro savings accounts bring Filipinos closer to financial inclusion

Based on the 2017 Financial Inclusion Survey of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), only 15.8 million Filipino adults or 22.6 percent of the total adult population have formal bank accounts, while 52.8 million or 77.4 percent remain unbanked.

To help the BSP encourage the unbanked population to invest in savings, Cebuana Lhuillier launched its #Kaya Na: Unbanked Filipinos No More campaign, and in just seven months, generated over two million micro savings accounts.

Guided by its mission to convert Filipinos into instant “Iponaryos”, the country’s leading micro-financial services provider set out to conduct financial wellness program cascades in its own branches and other venues nationwide, utilizing its 8,000-strong workforce.

To date, Cebuana Lhuillier has cascaded the value of savings to various communities, enabling more than 30,000 attendees from far-flung barangays, schools, non-government organizations, local government units, and cooperatives, to start their journey towards financial independence.

“What started out as a dream has become a reality. There were over two million previously unbanked Filipinos nationwide but can now access and save through their micro savings accounts,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO.

“This groundbreaking product was designed with the premise that Filipinos, given the right financial tools and opportunities, can be captains of their own ship, navigating their life towards financial freedom.”

Acting as a cash agent of Cebuana Lhuillier Rural Bank, the company is steadfast in its commitment to heed the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) call for financial inclusion through its Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings, an interest-bearing basic savings product that allows clients to save up to PhP50,000 using the company’s 24k Cebuana Lhuillier loyalty card.

Using BSP’s Basic Deposit Framework circular as guide, Cebuana Lhuillier simplified the process of opening a savings account by requiring only one valid ID and a PhP50 initial deposit which account holders can access in any of its 2,500 branches nationwide.

The company aims to conduct at least 500 more financial wellness cascades with a projected 100,000 attendees in the next three months, as part of its thrust to convert at least three million Iponaryos by the end of the year.