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Montepio: Promotion of accessibility and financial inclusion

MONTEPIO, founded in 1840, is a Portuguese mutual association known for its recognized, solid brand, for its historical foothold on mortgage and credit to real estate developers, as well as for its social mission and values. Financial inclusion is central to the way Montepio does business and a key component of its commitment to responsible finance.
Financial inclusion is central to the way MONTEPIO does business and a key component of their commitment to responsible finance. MONTEPIO Microfinance began building partnerships with a wider range of organizations that help MONTEPIO engage with a broader range of clients, such as small producers becoming part of multinational clients’ supply chains or mass market customers whose mobile phones are their link to financial services.

MONTEPIO has several lending programs for small businesses, both conven¬tional and non-conventional, with the goal of responsibly providing loans to as many small business customers as possible.. Thus, MONTEPIO creates opportunities for small businesses.

It is important for the bank to harmonize the issue of sustainability with other critical variables of the business, and this harmonization has led to the inclusion of innovation in the Sustainable Banking vector and in the new Economic Performance vector.

MONTEPIO Microcredit has proven to be an important tool in supporting MONTEPIO customers and associates, through MONTEPIO’s branch network as well as benefitting society in general by the range of new partnerships with Third Sector institutions.

MONTEPIO Microcredit needs to to further innovate and grow through partnerships with national, district and local level organizations. These organizations are experienced in the field of social entrepreneurship, as well as risk sharing.

MONTEPIO strategic measures focus on creating a network of dedicated business managers, who monitor and support vulnerable clients on the ground to ensure that their needs are met And that proper risk management is provided. MONTEPIO corporate volunteers are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs develop business plans and other activities.

MONTEPIO Microfinance develops commercial rela¬tionships with a wide group of stakeholders, including microfinance institutions, clients and investors to expand access to financial services for the unbanked and underserved.

By way of example, a partnership has been established with EAPN - European Anti Poverty Network,- working relationship have been strengthened with the Santa Casa de Misericórdia de Lisboa, and new protocol with the Order of Portuguese Psychologists and Construction Company have been signed. In addition, the bank increased the number of tutors under the Program for Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment, including the lines of Microinvest and Invest +.

In recognition of the work done, the Minister of Solidarity and Social Security visited some Microcredit projects under the cooperation protocol with the Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa.

MONTEPIO Social Economy Department leads MONTEPIO commitment to achieve economic empower¬ment and growth for underserved individuals, families and communities by expanding access to financial services and building sustainable business solutions and innovative partnerships. MONTEPIO teams up with community-based organizations and suppliers to revitalize communities and creates economic opportunities. MONTEPIO commercial activities are complemented by the MONTEPIO Foundation’s investments in partners that promote financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

Financial literacy is increasingly being recognized as an important tool for consumers of financial services. In 2009, as part of the MONTEPIO mission as a savings bank, MONTEPIO Financial Education Program, was created. The program is run by a large group of volunteers who aim to reduce financial illiteracy in both children and adults.

This social responsibility program has a lot of educational relevance,as it combats families’ over-indebtedness, teachingthem to save and plan their future finances. In 2012, this initiative was considered by the National Committee as the European Measure of the Year for Combating Poverty. Between 2010 and 2013, volunteers participated in the program in different parts of the country covering 226 classes and 5277 children at 138 schools.

In 2012 in order to play an active part in the financial education of customers, members and the community, MONTEPIO – Mutual Association launched the website Ei – Educação, Informação, an online gateway open to all populations and divided into six categories – Personal, Corporate, Youth, Educators, non-profit organizations and Members of MGAM. The website was created to democratize information, expand training programs, promote financial education, avoid indebtedness and spread, even more widely and effectively, the value of savings as a driver of individual quality of life and social cohesion. Ei website includes videos, info graphics, slideshows, forms, questionnaires, calculators, audio, podcasts, alongside with the written contents as well as an Ei channel set up on YouTube. With fresh content every day, Ei is the first website in Portugal to have a designated area for social institutions providing essential support in a financial capacity and promoting management practices that facilitate sustainable economic growth, innovation and risk management to the general public. Ei also provides important tools for educators, such as downloadable didactic materials for primary and secondary school teachers.

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