Silatech launches savings plan for Moroccan youth

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Silatech launches savings plan for Moroccan youth

Silatech and Morocco’s Al Barid Bank have signed an agreement to provide financial access to young Moroccans through a savings initiative.

The agreement was signed in Casablanca by Al Barid Bank chairman Redouane Najm-Eddine and Silatech chief executive officer Dr Tarik Yousef.

The initiative will enable young Moroccans aged from 18-25 years to build their financial assets by opening a youth-specific savings account at any one of Al Barid Bank’s branch across the country.

Set to be available for youth by the end of summer 2012, the youth savings account (YSA) initiative includes a range of features designed to meet the needs of youth while encouraging

active savings.

The YSA features include a very low minimum opening balance, a voluntary lock-in mechanism and a facility that matches youth deposits into the account up to a maximum amount for the first 20,000 accounts opened.

Further incentives to save include quarterly prize draws for all account openers and annual prize draws for youth who meet certain savings milestones.

YSA represents one of the largest new financial product deployments in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena)

region.

YSA will be marketed through an extensive promotional campaign, which will also incorporate key messages to youth stressing the benefits of savings, as well as motivating young people to save more.

Al Barid Bank and Silatech also plan to partner with media outlets, educational institutions and youth-serving organisations in raising awareness and promoting positive savings behaviour among young people.

To further reinforce positive savings behaviour, YSA will be offered by ABB staff who have been trained for the specific needs of young people. Frontline bank staff will also provide financial literacy advice for all youth opening YSAs.

The expected impact of the initiative is to encourage other financial institutions, as well as youth serving organisations, to think about helping young people learn smart financial habits early on in life, as well as to make available savings schemes that will help them accumulate capital for starting a business, getting married or help in other important life stages.

This partnership between ABB and Silatech forms part of a broader regional partnership between Silatech and the German Agency for International Co-operation (GIZ), supported by Sanabel, which was announced earlier this year.

The collaboration aims to provide youth savings initiatives for low-income youth in the Mena region through projects in Morocco, Egypt and Yemen.

It also aims to provide evidence which will serve to influence practitioners and policymakers, driving the development of more youth savings

programmes.

For Silatech, the focus on youth savings in the Mena region is critical to its overall mission and vision.

Yousef said: “Micro savings are widely recognised as driving financial inclusion by providing an entry point into the formal financial sector, reducing vulnerability to economic shocks, evening out irregularities in income, and creating collateral for lending to support business start-up and growth. However, the Mena region has the world’s lowest levels of access to formal savings instruments, according to a recent World Bank study.”

He mentioned that creating and expanding youth savings opportunities in the Mena region was a major goal for Silatech and their partnership with Al Barid Bank was highly strategic for the region.

Najm-Eddine said: “The bank is executing and expanding on its mandate to provide mass banking services to disadvantaged and underserved segments of the population in Morocco. Given our focus, this initiative with Silatech and partners is key to increasing financial inclusion for low income youth.This partnership in Morocco builds upon Silatech’s youth-focused micro-enterprise programming in five countries.”

 

Posted on May 29, 2012, in Business, Morocco News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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