"The Bricks" Savings Account

Financial Tool for Low Income Households

By increasing the readiness of low-cost savings products designed to meet the needs and constraints of poor people, financial institutions and policymakers can provide tools to improve welfare. CIPPEC has developed an innovative mobile-banking tool targeted to low-income households: a commitment savings account combined with a credit line, attached to a goal related to housing improvement: “Caja Ladrillo” ("The Bricks" Savings Account or BSA). The credit line must be used to purchase construction materials. By combining a commitment saving account with financial and behavioral incentives, CIPPEC intends to contribute to foster financial inclusion and soothe housing deficits, and to encourage sustainable saving habits and investment in real assets among low-income populations.

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Author: Lucio Castro

Lucio Castro

Lucio Castro is the Director of Economic Development at CIPPEC, a leading public policy think tank based in Argentina. Previously, Lucio was Senior Economist and Practice Leader at Maxwell Stamp, PLC, a leading economic development consultancy, in London. He has direct work experience managing and participating in technical assistance and research projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia for the IDB, World Bank, European Commission (EC), DfIID, GDN, other international organizations and national goverments. He was a visiting scholar at Harvard University and received the Fullbright Nexus Scholarship. He is an Affiliated Member of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Program at Innovations for Poverty Action and professor at UCA and UDESA/Flacso. He holds a PhD in Economics (Sussex University) and a Masters from the Program in Economic Policy Management (PEPM, Columbia University).