Queen Máxima to visit Mexico to help improve access to financial services

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will visit Mexico from the evening of Wednesday 6 September to Thursday 7 September in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. Her activities on 7 September will include a speech at the Third International Forum for Financial Inclusion at the National Palace in Mexico City. His Excellency President Enrique Peña Nieto will open the gathering.

On 21 June 2016 the Mexican government launched its national policy plan for inclusive finance. Queen Máxima attended and spoke at the launch (see Government Information Service press release no. 140, 2016).

The 2015 Mexican national survey on inclusive finance (ENIF) showed that only 44% of adults have an official account at a financial institution. Of those with a current or savings account, 9.5% use online banking. A key issue is the shortage of banking facilities and bank branches, particularly in non-urban areas. There are currently 40,000 bank branches in Mexico, while more than 200,000 are needed. In her speech, Queen Máxima will discuss opportunities for expanding the branch network and bringing financial services within physical reach of the Mexican people. She will also speak about ‘FinTech’: technological innovations in the sector which can improve access to banking services.

As well as giving a speech, the queen will meet with President Peña Nieto. She will also speak with the Minister of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, the president of the National Committee for Responsible Banking (CNBV), Jaime González Aguadé, and the outgoing governor of the Mexican Central Bank, Agustín Carstens. Together with other partners, these three organisations developed the national policy plan for inclusive finance. Queen Máxima will also visit several in-store bank branches, where she will speak with shopkeepers, customers and bank representatives about this style of banking.

Queen Máxima previously visited Mexico in her UN advocacy role in 2009, 2011 and 2012. In recent years she has also spoken with the Mexican authorities at various international events on how the national strategy for inclusive finance is progressing.