Queen Máxima to receive Financial Health Visionary Award

Her Majesty Queen Máxima will receive the Financial Health Visionary Award 2021 during a virtual ceremony on Tuesday 9 June, for her work as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). The Financial Health Network gives the award to people who have demonstrated unparalleled leadership in building a more inclusive and accessible financial system offering innovative solutions. The award will be presented during the online event EMERGE Financial Health.

As UNSGSA, Queen Máxima has campaigned worldwide since 2009 to promote safe and affordable access to and use of financial services in order to give people more opportunities for economic and social development. The main focus is on poor people, women, small farmers and other businesses, and people living in remote rural areas. The Financial Health Working Group was launched in December 2020 on Queen Máxima’s initiative (Government Information Service news item no. 82). The working group is developing a shared vision of what ‘financial health’ entails. For example, how do you measure whether someone’s financial situation is healthy? Which policies contribute to people’s financial health so that they have the resilience to absorb financial setbacks and can invest in their future? Various studies have shown that poverty, money worries and debt adversely affect people’s physical and mental health.

The award will be presented virtually by Jennifer Tescher, President and CEO of the Financial Health Network. Queen Máxima is the second person to receive this award. In 2018, it went to PayPal CEO Dan Schulman for his efforts to make financial services simpler for billions of people. After the ceremony, Jennifer Tescher will lead an online discussion on financial health between Queen Máxima and Dan Schulman.

The Financial Health Network, which is based in the United States, advises businesses, organisations and policymakers on how to improve the financial health of their customers, employees and communities. This is done through research, advisory services, the exchange of best practices and the promotion of cross-sector collaboration. The network’s members include banks, financial institutions and consumer organisations.

Queen Máxima is also involved in financial health issues in the Netherlands. Since 2010 she has been the honorary chair of the Money Wise platform. In this capacity, she focuses attention on financial education, how to handle money wisely, and financial fitness. She also regularly attends activities of Stichting SchuldenlabNL, a public-private partnership that seeks to prevent debt problems in the Netherlands.