Queen Máxima to speak at the Singapore FinTech Festival

On Wednesday 13 November Her Majesty Queen Máxima will be speaking at the Singapore FinTech Festival in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). The conference, which will be held from 11 to 15 November in the Singapore EXPO Convention and Exhibition Centre, focuses on developing technology (fintech) that will improve access to financial services. 

Queen Máxima will discuss the importance of tech innovations in improving access to financial services such as current or savings accounts, insurance, loans, pensions and digital payments. Some 1.7 billion adults worldwide still lack access to these services, which holds them back economically. Poor people, women, small businesses and residents of remote rural areas are most affected. Secure, affordable and ready access to financial services contributes to achieving the SDGs, which include reducing poverty and fostering equal opportunities in terms of development, employment and food security. To operate securely and effectively, fintech requires good infrastructure, appropriate legislation and an understanding of users’ needs.

Queen Máxima has a number of bilateral meetings planned in the margins of the conference, at which progress in securing access to financial services will be discussed. These include meetings with Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the Bank of International Settlements (BIS), Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Patrick Ngugi Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya and Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

With more than 45,000 participants from 130 countries, the Singapore FinTech Festival is the largest conference on this subject. Participants include representatives of financial institutions, policymakers, and fintech businesses. The conference is organised by the MAS and the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS).

Queen Máxima was appointed the UN Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development in September 2009. She advises the Secretary-General on access to financial services and works worldwide to make these services available to everyone, targeting low-income groups and SMEs in particular.