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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

USAID/WOCCU Economic Inclusion Project Plays Pivotal Role in Regulatory Change that Benefits Migrants and Refugees in Ecuador

New Basic Account regulation allows for greater access to savings accounts and digital services

QUITO, Ecuador—Venezuelan refugees and migrants living in Ecuador now have a greater ability to achieve their financial goals through savings, access to digital services and new products, such as microinsurance, thanks to a collaborative effort by the country’s Board of Financial Policy and Regulation (JPRF), Superintendence of Popular and Solidarity Economy (SEPS) and the USAID/World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU) Economic Inclusion Project.

Those entities promoted the new Basic Account regulations at the April 11 event "Generating Financial Inclusion - Closing Gaps", presented in conjunction with the Ecuadorian Integration Network of Credit Unions (Icored).

180 representatives from 71 financial institutions, civil society organizations, government agencies, international organizations and academic institutions learned how the updated regulation ensures a more inclusive financial system by:

  • removing limits on the number of basic accounts customers can open and operate.

  • improving service channels.

  • Providing greater flexibility on the forms of ID Venezuelan migrants and refugees can use to open accounts, allowing them to even use expired passports from their country of origin.

In addition to announcing the details of the new regulation, organizers also shared a digital manual featuring all the types of identity documents that can now be used to open a basic account in Ecuador.

"Financial inclusion does not only mean opening a savings account; it also means accessing other financial services and products. We believe that this modification of the regulations will allow more people from vulnerable groups to do that," said Margarita Hernández, Superintendent of Popular and Solidarity Economy.

The new Basic Account regulations provide a crucial opportunity to promote financial inclusion and facilitate equitable access to formal financial services for nearly half a million Venezuelans in Ecuador.  

The Economic Inclusion Project prioritizes the socioeconomic integration of migrants, refugees and local populations to improve living conditions for them and their families in a sustainable manner, positively impacting the harmonious development of society and the economic development of Peru, Ecuador and greater Latin America.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 90 countries. Worldwide, 82,758 credit unions in 97 countries serve 404 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at


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