Partnerships against Poverty Summit set

Updated 05 May 2013
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Partnerships against Poverty Summit set

The Philippines is the venue for the 2013 Partnerships against Poverty Summit later this year.
The Microcredit Summit Campaign, a project of Results Educational Fund, in partnership with the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. (MCPI), announced the holding of the summit from Oct. 9-11.
The “Partnerships against Poverty” is the slogan, set by the Microcredit Campaign for the Philippines summit, representing a well-established principle in the strategy of the Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND), which is headed by Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz, according to an AGFUND statement yesterday.
With support from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the Central Bank of the Philippines), this will be the 16th summit organized by the campaign, and some 1,100 participants from around the world will convene at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Manila.
The 2013 Microcredit Summit will focus on “Partnerships against Poverty: Finance, Government, Business, and Civil Society.”
Participants will delve into some of the most advanced and successful examples of public-private partnerships (PPP) in the microfinance field, while bringing together the relevant parties that can work together to elevate these programs to a large scale, including government regulators, microfinance practitioners, product design experts, providers of support services, and heads of institutional multinational banks.
“Governments, microfinance institutions, businesses, and NGOs can facilitate the long journey out of poverty by providing the full range of products and services that clients need to address their vulnerabilities and take advantage of opportunities,” said Microcredit Summit Campaign Director Larry Reed.
“This summit will focus on the best examples of partnerships that benefit those living in severe poverty. By bringing together stakeholders from a variety of different development sectors, we hope to catalyze the growth of public-private partnerships that serve the poor.”
The 2013 Microcredit Summit comes at a critical time with just two years left to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
It is estimated that, at the current rate of progress, around 1 billion people will still be living in extreme poverty in 2015 and that, today, nearly 2.6 billion people in the world have no access to formal financial services.
Microfinance providers work to reduce this gap and to offer non-financial services to help improve the lives of families around the world.
They have the ability to effectively deliver education, business development services, and health services to the poorest, especially to women, living in rural areas of the world. When combined with savings, loans, and insurance, these interventions are powerful tools in the fight against global poverty.
“Clients tell us they need education for their children, health care for their family, decent housing, and regular, nutritious meals,” said Professor Muhammad Yunus.
“This should be the focus of our work at this upcoming summit and in the years ahead.”
The campaign has chosen the Philippines as the host country for its excellent performance in microfinance as well as for its recognition of public-private partnerships as a development strategy that leads to inclusive economic growth and creates new opportunities that can significantly reduce poverty.
In the light of the goals aimed at eradicating poverty, particularly in the less fortunate developing countries, and the need to reach out to the vulnerable groups of women, children and people with disabilities, AGFUND, a major organization in the field of supporting sustainable human development with a focus on the eradication of poverty, has responded in a practical manner to the Millennium first development goal.
This goal was called for in the Millennium Summit, organized by the UN and attended by world leaders in September 2000.
AGFUND’s response was manifested in developing its strategy by embracing the support of microcredit activities as a first priority in its financing processes over the last 9 years.
AGFUND has succeeded in achieving a great deal to support this goal and meet its requirements by supporting microfinance institutions in developing countries, supporting regional microcredit conferences, and participating in their preparation both in Africa and the Arab world.
This was especially so in the microcredit conference in the Middle East and Africa, which was held in the Jordanian capital, Amman, in October 2004 in partnership with the Microcredit Summit.
AGFUND also participated in the Nairobi Summit and in one in Spain.
AGFUND founded seven banks and microfinance institutions in Jordan, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and Sudan. These banks, which take the name of ‘Ibda’ (creativity), are the most prominent in industry in the Arab region. More than one million and two hundred poor citizens, i.e. 250,000 families in the Arab world and Africa, have benefited from these banks. Thus, AGFUND banks for the poor contribute to securing new business opportunities, and thereby reduce the unemployment rate.


Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

Updated 20 April 2018
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Wells Fargo to pay $1B for mortgage, auto lending abuses

  • Fine the latest in a series of setbacks for US bank
  • Federal Reserve in February prohibited lender from growing assets until governance issues addressed

Wells Fargo will pay $1 billion to federal regulators to settle charges tied to its mortgage and auto lending business, the latest chapter in years-long, wide-ranging scandal at the banking giant. However, it appears that none of the $1 billion will go directly to the victims of Wells Fargo’s abuses.
In a settlement announced Friday, Wells will pay $500 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main national bank regulator, as well as a net $500 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The action by the CFPB is notable because it is the first penalty imposed by the bureau under Mick Mulvaney, who President Trump appointed to take over the consumer watchdog agency in late November. The $500 million is also the largest penalty imposed by the CFPB in its history, the previous being a $100 million penalty also against Wells Fargo, and matches the largest fine ever handed out by the Comptroller of the Currency, which fined HSBC $500 million in 2012.
The fine against Wells Fargo had been expected. The company disclosed last week that it was in discussions with federal authorities over a possible settlement related to its mortgage and auto lending businesses, and that the fine could be as much as $1 billion.
The settlement also contains other requirements that would restrict Wells Fargo’s business. The bank will need to come with a risk management plan to be approved by bank regulators, and get approval from bank regulators before hiring senior employees.
“While we have more work to do, these orders affirm that we share the same priorities with our regulators and that we are committed to working with them as we deliver our commitments with focus, accountability, and transparency,” said Wells Fargo Chief Executive Tim Sloan in a statement.
The $500 million paid to the Comptroller of the Currency will be paid directly to the US Treasury, according to the order. The $500 million paid to the CFPB will go into the CFPB’s civil penalties fund, which is used to help consumers who might have been impacted in other cases. But zero dollars of either penalty is going directly to Wells Fargo’s victims.
The bank has already been reimbursing customers in its auto and mortgage businesses for these abuses. Wells Fargo has been refunding auto loan customers since July and been mailing refund checks to impacted mortgage customers since December.
While banks have benefited from looser regulations and lower taxes under President Trump, Wells Fargo has been called out specifically by Trump as a bank that needed to be punished for its bad behavior.
“Fines and penalties against Wells Fargo Bank for their bad acts against their customers and others will not be dropped, as has incorrectly been reported, but will be pursued and, if anything, substantially increased. I will cut Regs but make penalties severe when caught cheating!,” Trump wrote on Twitter back in December.
The abuses being addressed Friday are not tied directly to Wells Fargo’s well-known sales practices scandal, where the bank admitted its employees opened as much as 3.5 million bank and credit card accounts without getting customers’ authorization. But they do involve significant parts of the bank’s businesses: auto lending and mortgages.
Last summer Wells Fargo admitted that hundreds of thousands of its auto loan customers had been sold auto insurance that they did not want or need. In thousands of cases, customers who could not afford the combined auto loan and extra insurance payment fell behind on their payments and had their cars repossessed.
In a separate case, Wells Fargo also admitted that thousands of customers had to pay unnecessary fees in order to lock in their interest rates on their home mortgages. Wells Fargo is the nation’s largest mortgage lender.
Wells Fargo has been under intense scrutiny by federal regulators for several months. The Federal Reserve took a historic action earlier this year by mandating that Wells Fargo could not grow larger than the $1.95 trillion in assets that it currency held and required the bank to replace several directors on its board. The Federal Reserve cited “widespread abuses” as its reason for taking such an action.
This settlement does not involve Wells Fargo’s wealth management business, which is reportedly under investigation for improprieties similar to those that impacted its consumer bank. Nor does this involve an investigation into the bank’s currency trading business.
Consumer advocates have been critical of the Trump administration’s record since it took over the CFPB late last year. However, advocates were pleased to see Wells Fargo held to account.
“Today’s billion dollar fine is an important development and a fitting penalty given the severity of Wells Fargo’s fraudulent and abusive practices,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union.