MetLife Foundation Sponsors Financial Inclusion Studies in Japan
The MetLife Foundation has sponsored a series of research reports to help raise awareness and promote initiatives on financial inclusion in Japan.
The Need for Financial Inclusion
The concept of financial inclusion is still relatively new in Japan. However, more and more individuals and households are exposed to difficult financial situation. Decrease in savings, inability to borrow money, and growing poverty are increasingly common.
MetLife Foundation has seen this as an opportunity to identify emerging needs around financial inclusion while advocating for further dialogue on this topic on the policy front.
Trapped in a “Service Vacuum”
The study, which was published by Japan NPO Center, identified individuals and households who are currently excluded from mainstream financial services but could benefit from better financial access to boost their overall financial health.
The results showed that people prone to financial exclusion in Japan are likely to be trapped in a “service vacuum” between systems as their income level impedes access to mainstream financial services but is not low enough to qualify for public welfare. The second phase explored innovations in financial inclusion in the U.S. and the U.K. and examined how their lessons could be replicated in Japan.
As a national infrastructure organization for the nonprofit sector, the Japan NPO Center works to build new and innovative forms of partnership across the public, private and nonprofit sectors, encouraging them to act as co-creators of a robust civil society. Given that the pressing issues around financial inclusion in Japan are complex and require cross-sector approaches to fill the unmet needs, Japan NPO Center was well positioned to lead this research effort leveraging its existing network of partners across the nation and sectors.
$200 Million form MetLife Foundation
”The Japan NPO Center has been a trusted partner for the Foundation in this seminal research on financial inclusion in Japan,” said Dennis White, President & CEO, MetLife Foundation. “We hope that the study will advance the much needed conversation around financial inclusion both at the policy level and for the practitioner.”
In 2013, MetLife Foundation committed $200 million over five years towards advancing financial inclusion globally. To date, it has committed more than $103 million towards meeting that goal, with close to $30 million invested in programs in Asia alone.
The Foundation defines financial inclusion as a means by which households and businesses have convenient access to a full suite of quality, affordable financial services, delivered by trustworthy providers with respect for the customer. The Japan NPO Center is one such partner that will help MetLife Foundation, and other providers, better understand the issues around financial exclusion in Japan and offer potential solutions.