World Council & MetLife Foundation partner to examine financial inclusion issues in Mexico
Research grant focuses on unbanked young adults’ financial service needs
MADISON, WI (May 19, 2015) — World Council of Credit Unions and MetLife Foundation have partnered to support research in Mexico to better understand the financial service needs of Mexico’s unbanked population ages 18–35. The $175,000 grant from MetLife Foundation is part of their $200 million, five-year commitment to fund programs and services that help advance financial inclusion worldwide.
“World Council and MetLife Foundation share a goal to provide working young adults with access to financial services,” said Brian Branch, World Council president and CEO. “World Council has a long history of increasing credit union outreach to underserved in Mexico. Forty-four percent of the Mexican credit union membership growth has been unbanked ages 18–35. Credit unions have given them access to savings and credit, as they approach their prime borrowing years.”
The collaborative project will draw conclusions from surveys with young adults, as well as examine international best practices and Mexican credit unions’ preparedness to bring young adult specific products and services to the market. The purpose of the nine-month research effort is to better understand the issues so larger-scale solutions can be implemented.
“We are confident that our partnership with World Council will surface strategies and new approaches to help credit unions in Mexico develop additional means of access for this population,” said Dennis White, President and CEO, MetLife Foundation. “The end goal is to empower young adults to be successful in their families, careers and in their communities.”
World Council will research and interview members of U.S. and Canadian credit unions that have proven experience reaching young adults, and will partner with Mexican credit unions to conduct a survey with over 500 participants that explores market demands of the country’s low-income young adults with respect to financial services. The survey will address factors needed to help this demographic, including design of specialized products and mobile and online channel preferences.
Throughout this process, World Council will identify Mexican credit unions to potentially partner with on a future project that would develop and test a toolkit for credit unions to give thousands of young adults access to financial services.
About MetLife Foundation
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2013, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $650 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million over the next five years to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions’ financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 57,000 credit unions in 103 countries serve 208 million people. Learn more about World Council’s impact around the world at www.woccu.org.