Source: Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse, one of the world's leading financial services providers, is partnering with the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) to support its work in building inclusive and responsible financial systems that help people move out of poverty, protect their economic gains and advance the broader global development agenda.
CGAP is a global partnership of more than 30 leading development agencies, private foundations and national governments committed to financial inclusion as a means toward expanding opportunities for poor people. Through their engagement, CGAP and Credit Suisse will capitalize upon and leverage each other’s knowledge to further financial inclusion and its contribution toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Among the projects that align well with Credit Suisse’s expertise are CGAP’s work on sustainable business models that use digital finance technologies to lower the cost and increase the efficiency of delivering energy, water, education, healthcare and other basic services to underserved communities.
“People of all levels of wealth want to educate their children, light their homes, have access to healthcare services, live productive lives, and achieve the many other life-enhancing objectives expressed in the SDGs. Credit Suisse is excited to engage with CGAP in improving the understanding of businesses that can sustainably offer suitable and affordable financial products while helping expand access to essential services for the base of the wealth pyramid,” said Urs Rohner, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Credit Suisse Group.
Credit Suisse will collaborate with CGAP through the Credit Suisse Financial Inclusion Initiative, the bank’s grant making and skills sharing initiative. The Initiative was launched in 2008 and is targeted at innovation and market development in the financial inclusion space, working with leading NGOs like Accion, Opportunity International, Swisscontact and Women’s World Banking. CGAP’s current strategy, covering the period 2019 through 2024, focuses on deepening financial inclusion through four interconnected priority areas - customer value, emerging business models, enabling infrastructure and next generation policy. As a CGAP member, Credit Suisse will participate in its Council of Governors, providing advice and support on CGAP’s overall budget and strategic direction.
CGAP CEO Greta Bull said Credit Suisse’s perspective as a leading financial services provider will enrich the thinking of the membership body. “Engaging with industry leaders alongside our development partners is integral to CGAP’s success in developing leading edge solutions that leverage financial services to improve the lives of the poor. We look forward to collaborating with Credit Suisse as we do with all members to advance the global development agenda,” she said.
CGAP’s PAYGo Solar Project
CGAP is actively engaging with investors and the donor community in exploring ways to expand the PAYGo business sector in a sustainable manner. PAYGo solar is bringing electricity for the first time to low-income communities in the developing world by offering families solar panels that they pay for remotely in small increments by mobile phone. PAYGo has helped millions of people gain access to modern electricity for the first time, but there is still a long way to go to serve the over one billion who still live in the dark.
The PAYGo model is also being applied to water, education and healthcare delivery. But as an emerging sector, it faces business model and funding challenges. Working with the industry, investors and donors, CGAP is exploring ways to bolster PAYGo as an investible asset class, by identifying risk indicators and setting standards for financing. Credit Suisse’s expertise in financial performance assessment, risk management, blended finance models and in adapting asset financing best practices to emerging markets will bring new insights for CGAP’s work.
CGAP benefits from opportunities to learn from the business perspectives and expertise of its individual members, and as a public good it shares learnings for the benefit of the entire financial inclusion community. As it does with all members, CGAP welcomes the chance to engage with Credit Suisse, which offers technical expertise in areas relevant to its work.