UPU Caribbean mission underscores financial inclusion for citizens

13.07.2018 - A mission to the island of Saint Lucia by the Universal Postal Union’s Director General Bishar A. Hussein and Deputy Director General Pascal Clivaz stresses financial inclusion as a business imperative for the Caribbean region.

UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein and Deputy Director Pascal Clivaz met with Saint Lucia's Prime Minister, Allen Chastanet, during their mission in the Caribbean.

Over the mission’s four days, UPU’s most senior officials delivered a series of statements that, when combined, delivered a forceful argument for Caribbean countries to do everything possible to improve access to financial services for their citizens.  

In an opening statement delivered at the Caribbean Postal Union’s 21st Annual Conference in Castries, Saint Lucia, Mr. Hussein said, “Posts are a vessel through which we can deliver accessible communication services, drive socioeconomic development and foster social and financial inclusion for citizens and businesses across the globe.”

Only 69 percent of the world’s adult populations have access to financial services; however, in the Caribbean region this figure is down to 51 percent. Significant disparities also exist among countries in the region among gender and especially when comparisons are made between urban areas and the countryside.

It is a situation that the postal sector is well positioned to help governments in the Caribbean change. Ninety-one percent of Posts globally offer at least one financial service and at least 1.5 billion people access financial services through the Post. Many of these individuals receive a low income. 

“New revenue streams are the essence of this strategy and essential for the continued success of postal operators and UPU has been at the leading edge of this wave,” said Mr. Clivaz in his own speech in Saint Lucia at a Postal Financial Services Symposium on 10 July. 

Commenting on the perceived image of the postal sector, he told participants that Posts have unfairly been viewed as a thing of the past, not as a vehicle for the future. “For too long, Posts have agonized too much over the negatives without seizing on the numerous positives. Posts have the networks, logistics and ties with government to ensure they succeed in this work,” he said.

Mr. Clivaz added that with 85 percent of citizens excluded from banking services in some countries, and banks lacking interest in rural and low-income populations, Posts can increase their revenue by developing modern financial services. He explained that UPU was assisting through its International Financial System currently used by 77 countries.

The mission to Saint Lucia was held from 9-12 July, which also included a meeting with Allen Chastanet, Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister on 11 July.

Financial services


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  1. Dirk at 19.01.2016
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