Pablo Hernández de Cos: Central banks, financial inclusion and digitalization: harnessing technology for inclusive growth

Speech by Mr Pablo Hernández de Cos, Governor of the Bank of Spain and Chair of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, at the session "Central banks, financial inclusion and digitalization: harnessing technology for inclusive growth", Conference "Financial integration and inclusive development: A view from the Mediterranean Countries", jointly organized by the Bank of Spain and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) with the support of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Madrid, 13 December 2019.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
13 December 2019

Good morning.

It is a privilege for me to chair this panel on the importance of financial inclusion and how digitalisation can contribute to it. It's all the more a privilege given that the panel includes governors from four countries with broad experience in promoting financial inclusion, where significant initiatives in this area have been launched with the central bank taking the lead.

Access to financial services continues to be a primary problem globally. On the latest World Bank estimates, almost 1.7 billion adults do not have access to an account offering basic functionalities and, therefore, they are excluded from basic services such as payments, credit and saving. This has obvious repercussions for economic and social development, as there is a positive correlation both with growth and employment1, and it is thus essential to understand the causes behind it.