Financial Retailers and Financial Inclusion in Chile

Friday, 3 July 2015: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
CLM.2.06 (Clement House)
Carolina Pinto, Universidad de Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, Chile
Rodrigo Figueroa, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
Javiera Correa, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
This articles addresses on financial inclusion in Chile. It focuses on the action of financial retailers and its relationships with the expansion of financial investment products in the Chilean Society. This expansion has implied a recent and apparent democratization of the access to financial markets. This article argues that financial retailers, understood as economic agents, have a key role in defining notions about the economic success in society. They perform ideas and perceptions about financial risks and financial profiles that emerge from the relationship between financial institutions and investors. In theoretical terms, this article is based on a multidimensional view about financial inclusion and the economic action in financial markets. Principally, it takes concepts from Callon and Bourdieu, as well as from the recent literature about the social construction of financial markets and their extension in developing countries. In methodological terms, this research is based on qualitative methods, principally in-depth interviews and secondary information from the Chilean financial markets. Research results show that notions promoted by financial retailers tend to perform economic acts, to create images about how economic and politics works, and to define risk profiles among financial investors. Finally, discourses emerging from financial retailers confirm a rising financial culture in the Chilean society, which defines a social fact that requires future research.