If universal financial inclusion is to really make a difference then it is vitally important that existing financial services are not simply made available but that new products and services are designed with the world's low-income population in mind.
Latest articles from Politics & Economics
Petar Chobanov spent little more than a year as Bulgaria's finance minister before the government resigned and he had to step down from his post. He describes the reforms that he started during his tenure and explains why it is important for the new government to continue this work.
Lebanon has endured a difficult few years of domestic and regional uncertainty, which have weighed heavily on its economy. But now the governor of the central bank Riad Salameh, is preparing for the prospect of renewed growth.
The ongoing dispute over the sovereignty of the Ukrainian republic of Crimea, which is currently occupied by Russian forces, has wreaked havoc in its financial sector, with many banks pulling out of the region and depositors unable to access their funds.
In Nigeria, ousted central bank governor Lamido Sanusi is under scrutiny. However, on an international level, it is the government that should be worrying about its reputation.
Lower growth in Latin America and a lack of reforms in areas such as education, infrastructure and taxation are not inviting propositions, but the region still shows some areas of great promise in 2014.
EU accession was meant to bolster Croatia’s economic prospects, but it is yet to have a positive effect on the country's flagging economy. Meanwhile, its banks are facing poor asset quality and a difficult operating environment.
The new 'grand coalition' of conservatives and socialists in Germany may have a huge majority in the Bundestag, but there are already disagreements over the extent of national powers in the functioning of the eurozone banking union.
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