FIPS = Financial Inclusion for Poverty Stricken

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INDIANEWSCO : 2010-12-06, 22:39:44 IST

"... Announcing the foundation of the FIPS Forum at New Delhi today, its convenor Sarbajit Roy said,

"Financial inclusion of the poverty stricken is now a buzz-word for all the financial institutions. ICICI Bank, the biggest private sector bank of India, is working with Banking Correspondents in various cities. Regular banking activities are being undertaken through these correspondents to cater to the needs of the clients. The extremely encouraging start shows that the mission of financial inclusion of the poverty stricken communities will be hugely successful. However it is a matter of concern that some rogue PSU Banks like State Bank of India are not prepared to comply with the mandate of the banking regulator for financial inclusion. The FIPS Forum shall act as a watchdog on such banks and over the banking regulator also."

FIPS Forum overview
  The FIPS FORUM was convened on 06 Dec. 2010 by Sarbajit Roy and other like-minded intellectuals to settle the question "Is Financial Inclusion only for Poverty Stricken ?". FIPS Forum is today a powerful network of experts (in their personal capacities) in the Financial Inclusion space, to discuss common strategies and representations made to Government and Regulatory Institutions of India on behalf of the disadvantaged and poverty stricken citizens. The network now also includes various like-minded international forums as associates.

  Through the untiring initiatives of the FIPS forum on behalf of the unbanked and poverty stricken since 2010, the main regulatory body (RBI) rediefined the "FI" (Financial Inclusion) domain which is now known as "Financial Inclusion and Payment Systems" or "FIPS" [1] as described in the speech dt.25.11.2012 of the RBI Dy. Governor Mr. Harun R Khan at Pune.

  Accordingly the scope of the FIPS Forum network now encompasses the entire new FIPS policy micro-domains like a) Payment Systems b) Mobile Financial Systems c) Digital Currency Initiatives etc. which are described in the speech, and the forum on 11.Dec.2012 has redefined itself as "Financial Inclusion and Payment Systems Forum" retaining its motto as "Banking for the Unbanked" and adopted a new logo and banner to reflect the changed paradiigm.
[1]"Financial Inclusion & Payment Systems: Recent Trends, Current Challenges and Emerging Issues". Author: Harun R Khan  Deputy Governor  Reserve  Bank of India, November 25, 2012  Pune, URL: http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/Speeches/PDFs/PSFI261112FLS.pdf, http://rbidocs.rbi.org.in/rdocs/content/ppts/PSFI261112FLS.ppt
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EVENTS
Concluded:
  • 2013 : A conference on "Financial Inclusion and Payment Systems (Direct Benefit Transfer)" at New Delhi on 24-25 Oct 2013, hosted by M/s ELETS Techmedia [#] (Contact person: Mr. Santanu Sengupta : Conference Director)
  • 2014 : A Roundtable "Knowledge Quest" workshop on "Financial Inclusion and Payment Systems (Mobile Financial Systems)" at Mumbai on 25 Jan 2014, hosted by M/s Catallyst Constellations [#] (Contact person: Prof. Rajanish Dass : Workshop Director)
Upcoming:
  • 2014: A grassroots conference of stakeholders on "Financial Inclusion and Payment Systems (Digital Currency Initiatives)" at Hardwar on 18-20 May 2014 hosted by M/s DharmSabha Nyas. (Contact person: Ms. Anny Kohli (India Against Corruption Mumbai [#]): pro-tem Conference Director),(list of members of conference organising committee [#])
  • 2014: A workshop on "Micro-finance and Mobile networks" at Dhaka, Bangladesh in November 2014.

ORIGINS of FIPS-FORUM (History)
2002 - : Mr. Sarbajit Roy and other consumer activists  of India are aggrieved that foreign banks are not providing banking services to poor and under-privileged sections of society at affordable tariffs and are charging unaffordable "minimum balance fees" for unwanted services. After a bitter campaign by activists in name and style of "FIPS, Financial Inclusion for Poverty Stricken",on 11.Nov.2005 the Reserve Bank of India ("RBI") issues directions to all scheduled Banks to provide "no-frills accounts" without minimum balance requirement to those depositors wanting only basic banking services [#].
4-Nov-2005 : Mr. Sarbajit Roy files Delhi's first Complaint (No.1/2005) under "Information Technology Act 2000" for financial inclusion against (1) CIBIL (2) Standard Chartered Bank (3) Reserve Bank of India (4) ANZ Grindlays Bank. The grievance is that Foreign Banks are issuing "unsolicited credit cards" to poor customers in collusion with organised criminal gangs who were misusing them, and the unaware bank depositors names were being reported as "defaulters" in an unauthorised/illegal credit information bureau in contravention of Banking Secrecy Laws. Due to the highly specific nature of the pleadings seeking dismissal of the Dy.Governor/RBI responsible for DBOD, on 6.Nov.2005 the GM (Credit Cards) of SCB resigns and their VP (Credit Cards) is transferred to Singapore 3 days later. In Nov. 2005 the RBI calls a meeting of the foreign banks and reads the riot act to them. On Nov 21. 2005 RBI notifies the "Credit Card Guidelines" [#].  On 17.Feb.2006 CIBIL produced the "TOP-SECRET" instructions by RBI directing Banks to share defaulter information without obtaining user consent. On 5.Apr.2006 the RBI notifies the CIBIL Act Regulations [#].
22-Feb-2006 : Mr. Sarbajit Roy & Ors. launch the "RTI India" movement [#] to organise the leading RTI and anti-corruption activists of India.
26-Feb-2007 : Mr.Sarbajit Roy & Ors. found the "India Against Corruption" [#] jan andolan at New Delhi. Some of the founding members include Lokesh Batra, Sarbajit Roy, Manish Sisodia, Shekhar Singh, Rekha Koli, Arvind Kejriwal, Veeresh Malik, Gita Dewan Verma, Rajinder Singh, Chaudhury Inderjit Singh, Chaudhury Hoti Lal.  Sarbajit Roy is nominated as National Convenor and Veeresh Malik as Co-convenor of the andolan.
2010- The India Against Corruption receives information that State Bank of India is misusing RBI's "no-frills accounts" scheme for money laundering operations (incl. fake currency washing) for some traditional financiers. Accordingly seeing the dimensions of the "scam", IAC National Convenor personally files a complaint with SBI to ascertain the KYC norm requirements for SBI's "no-frills account" product.  The FIPS FORUM was convened as a result of this complaint which ended up at the RBI Dy. Governors's desk and exposed the deep corruption in RBI and SBI  ...So deep was the corruption rot in SBI that the RBI's Dy.Governor Dr. K.C.Chakravarty refused to pass an order on Mr. Roy's statutory appeal filed to him under the "Banking Regulation", and "Reserve Bank of India" Acts. The RBI conveyed on 26.Nov.2010 that "complaint can be taken to any other forum except RBI" .. hence the formation of the FIPS FORUM on 6.Dec.2010 to resist banking and financial sector scoundrels ...  Read More.