Authorities from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay discussed the features and scope of social credit programmes in their respective countries.
Access to credit for social security beneficiaries is often complex, and in many cases, as a result of ignorance or necessity, people fall victims of abuse by intermediaries and financial institutions when agreeing loan conditions.
For this reason many social security institutions have begun to take action, some of them directly granting loans, as in the case of the National Social Security Administration (ANSES) in Argentina and the Social Insurance Institute (IPS) of Paraguay, while others act as intermediaries between lenders and beneficiaries such as the National Social Security Institute (INSS) of Brazil, and some institutions such as the Social Insurance Bank (BPS) of Uruguay, which perform both such roles.
In this context, on Thursday 28 June 2018 a first cooperation workshop was held at which credit systems were discussed by representatives of the social insurance agencies of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. The workshop was led by the Regional Coordinator for the Americas of the International Social Security Association (ISSA), Mariano Brener, and Alejo Maxit, Secretary-General of the ANSES and head of the Southern Cone Office.
During the workshop, the authorities discussed the features and scope of social credit programmes in each country. The presentations showed that that the approach taken by each institution is different, as are the amounts lent, the duration of the loans, and the possible beneficiaries. These differences enriched the exchange of ideas by participants.
The workshop involved the participation of the Director of the BPS, María del Rosario Oiz Márquez; the Director of the IPS, Administrative and Financial Manager Edsel González Fariña, and the Director of Investments, Claudia Martínez Bogado; as well as the General Coordinator of Cooperation and International Affairs of the Social Security Secretariat of Brazil, Eduardo Basso.
Also participating on behalf of the ANSES was the Director-General of Institutional and Community Relations, Patricio Piffano; the Director-General of the ARGENTA Programme, Miguel White; the Director of Beneficiary Services of ARGENTA, Gabriela Costa, and the International Relations Coordinator, Hernán Bernasconi.
A further meeting will analyse the single window system, a unified management system whereby multiple claims can be processed in a single location, which has recently been implemented in many of the countries of the region.