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Nestor Espenilla Jr.: Uncompromising in his standards, unwavering in his support for inclusion and innovation.

His time at the helm of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) may have been cut short, but his legacy as an unwavering champion of financial inclusion through reforms and innovation will live on.

Nestor Espenilla Jr., or “Gov. Nesting” as he was fondly called, was a humble, down-to-earth public servant and well-loved banking leader who spent 38 years of his life in the BSP, tirelessly fighting the good fight. He believed that access to financial services is a basic right that every Filipino deserved, regardless of income, education, or background.

I first crossed paths with Gov. Nesting back in 2014 when I was at HSBC Philippines, and he was the Deputy Governor of the BSP’s Supervision and Examination Sector. His primary responsibility then was ensuring that financial institutions were offering products and services at a standard that protected and placed the interest of the public first. …

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For many Filipinos, lack of funding is the biggest obstacle to starting a business. It’s hard to find investors, and most banks do not lend without collateral, track record, or both. Because of this, a lot of local startups go belly up within their first year. Discouraged, some aspiring entrepreneurs even end up not trying at all.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have significantly turned the tide. Through ICOs, startup founders have raised capital more efficiently than they did by traditional fundraising. This year alone, ICOs all over the world have racked up US$6.3 billion in investments.

As far as regulations go, however, there is still a lot to be done. …

Nichel Gaba

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