| Ishan Ibrahim |
A TRAINING programme for insurance supervisors commenced on Monday at the Radisson Hotel. The workshop titled ‘Regulatory Framework Promotion of Pro-poor Insurance Markets in Asia’ is jointly organised by Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Insurance Institute for Asia and the Pacific (IIAP) and Asean Insurance Training and Research Institute (AITRI) Malaysia.
The five-day workshop was officially opened by Hjh Lily bte Hj Kula, Deputy Managing Director of Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD).
In her address, she underscored the need for poverty alleviation that has become a focal point of discussions in various international conferences such as the G20, OECD and Asean. In this context, the training programme is very relevant and is a part of the financial inclusion initiatives.
Through reducing poverty, she said, the status of social welfare in a nation can be elevated and consequently the economic development and financial stability can be enhanced.
She also distinguished the terms financial literacy and financial inclusion. The former is related to educating consumers about financial products and services, whereas the latter concentrates on giving consumers access to a wide range of financial products and services that suit their needs.
Here the focus is on those consumers that do not have access to such products and services, especially the low-income populace, she explained.
One of the critical challenges in promoting inclusive insurance is identifying the appropriate product for the unserved and undeserved segments of the nation’s population, and there is a need to further develop the local market catered by the few Takaful operators in the provision of micro-Takaful products, she added.
The goal of microfinance is social in nature. It aims to support self-employment and enhance job creation. Profit making is not its objective and the regulations applicable to traditional financial institutions may not be applicable to microfinance or micro-insurance institutions, she elaborated.
In view of this, the regulators should be mindful of the need to establish a legal and regulatory framework that supports microfinance.
Around 30 delegates from the Asean member countries as well as non-Asean countries, including representatives from AITRI Secretariat, IIAP and invited lecturers, are attending the workshop.
The training programme aims to strengthen the capacity of regulators and supervisors in promoting a regulatory and supervisory environment that supports the development of their respective inclusive insurance markets.