FinMark Trust (FMT) is an independent trust established in 2002 with the objective of making markets work for the poor. Initial core funding was provided by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DFID) through its Southern Africa office. Recently additional funders have come on board including the UNCDF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the MasterCard Foundation as well as private and public institutions at country level. FinMark Trust’s purpose is ‘Making financial markets work for the poor, by promoting financial inclusion and regional financial integration’ as well as institutional and organisational development, in order to increase access to financial services for the un-served and under-served. FinMark Trust commissions research to identify the systemic constraints that prevent financial markets from reaching out to these consumers and by advocating for change on the basis of the research findings.
FinMark Trust achieves its purpose by:
- Playing a catalytic role to make financial markets accessible, sustainable and inclusive by promoting and supporting policy and institutional change across Africa;
- Providing information that encourages financial service providers to understand the potential and characteristics of new market segments;
- Promoting financial capability and consumer financial protection;
- Promoting growth and integration in the financial services sector in Southern Africa, focusing on SADC member states and contributing to the process of regional policy harmonisation, together with translating and setting best practice through evidence-based advocacy.