Brazil’s Central Bank addresses governance, transparency and technology of services and products

(Los Angeles– November 17, 2009) – Joining over 100 top government, civil society and private sector leaders focused on Brazil’s national microfinance agenda, Operation HOPE Chairman and CEO, John Hope Bryant, traveled to the city of Salvador to give the keynote address at the Forum Banco Central on Financial Inclusion, November 17.

“Operation HOPE’s mission is the eradication of poverty through 'silver rights', and microfinance stands as one of the most promising tools in the fight to bring ‘silver rights’—access to resources and financial parity, to the underserved," said Bryant, best-selling book author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: the New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World, and vice chair of the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.

Bryant, who was invited to the Forum to provide insight on Operation HOPE and inspiration on the possibilities of entrepreneurship, as a long-term model for creating community stakeholders, gave the day’s keynote address and spent time afterwards doing a Question and Answer session. Other financial industry chiefs who spoke during the three-day conference were Henrique de Campos Meirelles, Minister of the State and the Central Bank of Brazil’s Governor; Alexandre Antonio Tombini, Deputy Governor for Financial System Regulation and Organization, BCB; Paulo Okamoto, President of SEBRAE; and Luiz Edson Feltrim, Head of the Financial System Organization Department.

The microfinance conference centered on forging joint partnerships and the breakout sessions were lead by experts on technical microfinance aspects. Participants also had the opportunity network with the purpose of creating new partnerships and projects.

Event themes and discussion topics included:

•    Articulating the Industry of Microfinance;
•    Identification of problems (diagnosis) and proposals for solutions (joint partnerships);
•    Strategic agenda for the microfinance industry;
•    Social Currencies and Community Banks and Other Initiatives

Created in 1964, as the principal monetary authority for Brazil, the Central Bank of Brazil launched the Financial Inclusion Project I, as part of its efforts to diagnose the strengths and weaknesses of the microfinance sector. Since then stakeholder meetings which bring financial system expertise to the microfinance sector have played a key role in achieving this goal.

About Banco Central do Brasil (BCB)
The Banco Central do Brasil (BCB), created by Law no. 4,595 of December 31st, 1964, is an autonomous federal institution and part of the National Financial System (SFN). Before the creation of the Central Bank, the Brazilian monetary authorities were the Currency and Credit Superintendence (SUMOC), the Bank of Brazil (BB) and the National Treasury.

The 1988 Constitution sets down Central Bank's matters, such as the exclusive attribution of the Union to issue money, the need to submit persons appointed by the President of the Republic to be president and director of the Central Bank to prior approval by the Senate, and the prohibition to direct or indirect granting of loans to the National Treasury. The 1988 Constitution also establishes the drawing up of a Complementary Law of the National Financial System, to substitute Law no. 4,595, dealing with varied and important aspects of the structure and activities of the Banco Central do Brasil.

About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Operation HOPE is America's leading nonprofit social investment banking and financial literacy empowerment organization. With more than 400 private sector partners, 1500 nonprofit organizations and schools, and 100 government partners in 68 major U.S. cities as well as South Africa, HOPE has raised more than $500 million in its pursuit of educating, assisting and inspiring the next generation of global stakeholders. Through international initiatives and its three principal programs, Banking on Our Future (teaching school children about money), HOPE Coalition America (Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, 1-888-388-HOPE, financial emergency preparedness and disaster relief), and Walk-In HOPE Centers (loans, bill pay, computer literacy, understanding banking principles), Operation HOPE has delivered services to more than one million low-wealth individuals and assumed the responsibility of piloting the Silver Rights Movement towards making free enterprise and capitalism relevant to all underserved communities. To learn more about HOPE, visit www.operationhope.org. or read our blog at www.operationhope.org/blog.

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