The Special Advocate also delivered opening remarks ahead of a panel discussion on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) for financial inclusion and provided a keynote address at the "Building Resilience: Accelerating Financial Inclusion through Digitization" event, as well as engaged in several bilateral meetings, during the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings on 14-15 October 2022.
Financial health and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) were in the spotlight during the first day of a visit to Washington D.C. for H.M. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, in her capacity as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA), on 14 October 2022.
At an invite-only salon dinner event held at the U.S. Department of Treasury, UNSGSA Queen Máxima and U.S. Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu co-hosted approximately 40 policymakers and regulators, financial services industry representatives, consumer advocacy groups leaders, and civil rights organizations for a discussion on financial health.
The Special Advocate and Acting Comptroller Hsu, along with Financial Health Network (FHN) President and Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Tescher, each delivered brief opening remarks on the importance of this subject.
UNSGSA Queen Máxima stressed it is critical to ensure financial inclusion leads to positive outcomes in people’s lives and contributes to their financial health. This refers to the extent to which a person or family can successfully manage their current financial obligations and have confidence in their financial future.
Attendees discussed a range of topics related to financial health, including how to properly measure it and how measurement can inform product design, how to improve financial health for traditionally underserved or marginalized groups, and the role of and benefits for the private sector to boost financial health for employees and customers.
Additionally, in the afternoon, UNSGSA Queen Máxima delivered opening remarks during the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings at an event on CBDCs, held alongside the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meetings, where she stressed the importance of capacity and design choices in ensuring that CBDCs can contribute to financial inclusion. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and Bank Indonesia Governor Perry Warjiyo, among others, participated in the session.
On 15 October, UNSGSA Queen Máxima provided opening remarks for the “Building Resilience: Accelerating Financial Inclusion through Digitization” event during the Annual Meetings, where the World Bank Global Findex Little Data Book was launched, as well as participated in several bilateral meetings with various government officials from different countries.