Axios Reception in NYC: The State of Financial Security & Inclusion
On Thursday, September 22nd, Axios business reporter Hope King led conversations with UNSGSA (United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development) Director Pia Roman Tayag and MCE Social Capital CEO Camilla Nestor about the many factors impacting financial security and inclusion around the world, from the expansion of digital financial services to the impact of economic fallout from the pandemic.
- Pia Roman Tayag described the state of financial inclusion around the world from the UN’s perspective: “We’re facing the same issues across countries: the lack of inclusion, but also making sure that when you are financially included, it actually leads to positive outcomes…her Majesty [Queen Máxima of the Netherlands] has been in this role since 2009 and we have seen tremendous progress. The latest figures that we have today is like 76% of adults globally now have access to an [banking] account.”
- Camilla Nestor described the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial health and security of low-income households around the world: “What you saw is a really significant stress on their financial lives. People ate fewer meals. They dug into savings accounts if they had them. They borrowed…or they pawned and sold assets to raise cash. These are all financial tools that people are using to manage through this really difficult time. It kind of gives you a sense of how critical financial inclusion is, not just in times of crisis but overall. That particularly became clear during the pandemic.”
- In a View From The Top segment, Dan Houston, Chairman, President and CEO of Principal Financial Group, shared which markets ranked best and worst on financial inclusion according to the group’s research: “The ones that were at the top: Singapore would have been number 1, U.S. would have been number 2 and then you think about the Nordic markets, they sort of fill out that top 10. If you look at that second cohort…you have markets like India and China jump off…down at the low rank you might pick up markets like Brazil, Mexico…the real key of this information and data… is to provide…insights, guidance… to those markets.”
Thank you Principal Financial Group for sponsoring this event.