The State of Financial Security and Inclusion

Thursday, September 22, Axios business reporter king of hope conducted conversations with the Director of UNSGSA (Special Advocate to the UN Secretary General for Inclusive Finance for Development) Pia Roman Tayag and CEO of MCE Social Capital Camille Nestor on the many factors impacting financial security and inclusion around the world, from the expansion of digital financial services to the impact of the economic fallout from the pandemic.

Pia Roman Tayag speaking to the crowd at the reception. Credit: Beatrice Moritz
  • Pia Roman Tayag described the state of financial inclusion around the world from the perspective of the UN: “We face the same issues in all countries: the lack of inclusion, but also ensuring that when you are financially included, it actually leads to positive outcomes… Her Majesty [Queen Máxima of the Netherlands] has been in this position since 2009 and we have seen tremendous progress. The latest figures available to us today indicate that 76% of adults worldwide now have access to a [banking] Account.”
Camilla Nestor in conversation with Axios business reporter Hope King
Camilla Nestor in conversation with Axios business reporter Hope King. Credit: Beatrice Moritz
  • 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 have seen is a very significant stress on their financial lives. People ate fewer meals. They dug into savings accounts if they had any. They borrowed…or they pledged and sold assets to raise cash. These are all financial tools that people are using to manage this really difficult time. It kind of gives you an idea of ​​how important financial inclusion is, not just in times of crisis, but overall. This has become especially clear during the pandemic.
Financial Group Senior CEO Dan Houston in conversation with Axios Publisher Nicholas Johnston
Financial Group Senior CEO Dan Houston in conversation with Axios Publisher Nicholas Johnston. Credit: Beatrice Moritz
  • In a View From The Top segment, Dan Houston, Chairman, President and CEO of Principal Financial Group, shared the highest and lowest ranked markets for financial inclusion according to the group’s research: “Those who were at the top: Singapore would have been number 1, the United States would have been number 2, then you think of the Nordic markets, they kind of fill out that top 10. If you look at that second cohort… you have markets like India and China are jumping…at the bottom end you could take markets like Brazil, Mexico…the real key to this information and data…is to provide…information, advice…to those markets.

Thanks to Principal Financial Group for sponsoring this event.

Sarah J. Greer