Financial services in the framework of UNICORE (University Corridors for Refugees)
The project in brief
The project is implemented by Fondazione Finanza Etica (FFE) in Italy. It began in July 2022 and is currently ongoing.
FFE works to support young refugees with scholarship, and therefore provide financial inclusion and bank basic services. It helps refugees by providing regular bank accounts and adopting ad hoc flexibility in documentation requirements due to their refugee background to ensure that students may receive regular scholarship from Universities. FFE also, in some cases, helps with donations in ad hoc circumstances.
Main activities of the Good Practice
FFE has cooperated with Banca Etica's branches in Italy to provide the students who where willing to open a bank account the necessary authorization so that they could collect their scholarship from their University and have direct access to financial services, even in the lack of Italian or regular documents from their homeland.
- UNHCR Italy
- Several Italian Universities
- Banca Etica
What challenges were encountered in delivering the project and how were they overcome?
Mainstream banks are not often willing to find solutions to difficult cases in providing financial services to refugees and other fragile clients. So, they claim that having refugees very uncertain documents, they often reject request coming from this kind of “clients”. In these cases, the Universities were not able to provide students with their scholarships. So FFE accompanied the refugees to Banca Etica's offices so that they could get their bank account.
How they were overcome
The good will of the bank employees and the ethical mission of Banca Etica made it possible to overturn the difficulties of the banking regulations and find a way to provide regular bank accounts for the refugees.
Results of the Good Practice
- possibility to have regular scholarships on regular bank accounts
- access to basic financial services
- financial inclusion
In what way does the good practice meet one or more of the four objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees?
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
The good practice supports the second objective, enhancing refugee self-reliance as it addresses barriers to accessing economic inclusion. It also contributes to the third objective, expanding access to third country solutions by offering scholarships for education pathways.
Simone Siliani, General Director, Banca Etica - [email protected]