Context

The need of  gathering all the stakeholders involved in financial inclusion process  is crucial to develop coherent financial policy measures at both local and European level and to increase mutual learning about it.
Existing  European networks of researcher, and/or practitioners are already successfully addressing specific aspects of financial inclusion, like responsible credit, consumer debt or microfinance.
The aim of EFIN is to create a network of wider scope both in terms of membership (including financial institution and associations, public institutions, government representatives, NGOs, trade unions, consumer organisations,…) and in terms of  objectives (promoting all  measures and actions favouring financial inclusion in general).

Background

During 4 years (2006-2009), two large teams composed by researchers, practitioners from 18 different EU Countries have been invited to implement two EU programs dedicated to financial inclusion / financial exclusion.
After these successful collaboration, a large majority of them has decided to keep the contact: EFIN, an international non-profit association, was created therefore created in November 2009 in Brussels.
Since then, the network has organised workshops, meetings and conferences, had published various articles and position papers. EFIN can also be perceived as a think tank, where debates and ideas are organised to design innovative solutions to specific financial inclusion issues.
EFIN brief résumé

Pre-EFIN creation
Financial services provision and prevention of financial exclusion (2006-2007)
This study gave the first comprehensive picture of the nature and extent of financial exclusion in Europe and most effective policy measures to promote access to financial services and prevent financial exclusion.

Mutual Learning on Financial Inclusion (2008-2009)
The project allowed financial inclusion players to exchange interests, needs, questions, experiences and good practices regarding financial inclusion. Ten workshops in ten different EU countries. Outputs: on-line indicator and best practices database.

Main steps
November 2009 : EFIN legal creation, Brussels
January 2010  : answer to EU Consultation on the future “EU 2020” Strategy
September 2010 : answer to the EU Consultation on Responsible Mortgage Lending and Borrowing
November 2010 : answer tu the EU Consultation on Basic Payment Account
April 2011 : recommendations presentation to the ECON commission of the EU Parliament during the workshop “Ensuring Access to Basic Banking Services”.
June 2011 : invited with the European Banking Federation by the EU Parliament Public Utility Intergroup on the “Universal Access to Banking Services”.
2011-2013 : partner to the EU program “Social Innovation on Micro-savings
2012-2013 : partner to the EU program “Cooperation for Inclusive Affordable personal Credit
June 2012 : EFIN’s first EU Conference in partnership with the EESC “Financial inclusion Priorities in Europe”
January 2013 : participation to the seminar about the Interim report by DG SANCO fo the “Study on Household over-indebtedness”
October 2014 : participation to the European Banking Federation “Financial Education Project Group (FEPG)”
December 2014 : Brussels, EFIN organised its second EU Conference in partnership with ECDN and the EESC. The overindebtedness has been studied through 4 specific perspectives:
1) adequate and relevant indicators to be promoted,
2) how to clean the market from toxic and unfair products,
3) how to detect financial issues at early stage,
4) how to increase efficiency in debt treatment via a supportive approach.