Finance Watch, the independent non-profit organisation that defends the public interest in financial reform and regulation, has taken over the activities of European Financial Inclusion Network (EFIN) – a network of researchers and practitioners working on financial inclusion.
EFIN membership held its General Assembly in Brussels, on 13 June 2018 and voted to close EFIN after its activities are transferred to Finance Watch, where they will be led by Olivier Jérusalmy, Senior Research and Advocacy officer at Finance Watch and the former director of EFIN.
Rainer Lenz, Chair of Finance Watch, said:
“We are extremely pleased to welcome the former members of EFIN to the Finance Watch network. Financial inclusion is a crucial aspect of consumer protection and our new Associate Members bring with them a deep expertise in consumer rights, financial literacy, poverty, over-indebtedness and the legal aspects of credit arrangements, among other areas. I look forward to working with our new colleagues and with Olivier on the EU’s financial inclusion agenda.”
Richard Altsröm, EFIN Chair, said:
“EFIN and Finance Watch have long shared a common mission to improve the economic and financial security of Europe and its citizens. I am delighted that EFIN’s work will continue as part of Finance Watch and will benefit from its large civil society network. Today’s decision will provide stability and reach to help us make high impact interventions on behalf of European citizens.”
Microfinance Centre has been admitted to Finance Watch an Associate member. We took part in the EFIN General Assembly and Finance Watch General Assembly to discuss new opportunities provided by joining forces of the networks.
EFIN – the European Financial Inclusion Network
Formed in 2009, EFIN’s objectives were to promote measures and actions that favour financial inclusion. EFIN publishes studies and position papers and has organised conferences on topics including over-indebtedness, digital inclusion, big data and the impact of fintech on vulnerable citizens. It launched a number of grassroots actions and empowerment-driven programs. EFIN’s members include 20 organisations (three of whom were already Finance Watch Members), based in 11 countries (10 EU member states + Norway) and 9 individuals, based in 8 EU member states, comprising financial institutions and associations, public institutions, government representatives, NGOs, trade unions and consumer organisations.
Finance Watch is a European, not-for-profit association of civil society Members, dedicated to making finance work for the good of society. It works for a financial system that allocates capital to productive use through fair and open markets, in a transparent and sustainable manner, in line with society’s needs and without exploiting or endangering society at large.
Including the new joiners, Finance Watch has 86 Members, comprising 53 European civil society organisations, who themselves represent millions of citizens from all over Europe, and 33 expert individuals. Associate Members share the same benefits as Full Membership but do not take part in the governance of the association.
Finance Watch Members are supported by a professional full-time secretariat recruited mainly from the financial and policy sectors, with strong communications and stakeholder engagement capacities, to conduct advocacy and provide technical know-how and coordination for our civil society network.