In his speech on September 30, 2011, closing the AFI Global Policy Forum, and opening the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) Forum, held back-to-back in Riviera Maya, Mexico, President Felipe Calderón announced the launch of Mexico’s “National Council on Financial Inclusion.” The council will provide an institutional mechanism to drive policy and facilitate coordination among government entities of relevance to financial inclusion, spanning agencies involved in regulation of the financial sector, social development, consumer protection and others.
The establishment of this council is an important achievement for both Mexico and the global financial inclusion agenda, as it demonstrates the importance of not just putting into place national strategies for financial inclusion, but also establishing mechanisms to ensure that the strategy is implemented broadly. The council will play an important role of coordinating existing and future financial inclusion efforts, and demonstrates how financial inclusion is a cross-cutting issue that involves many different development mandates. For larger countries like Mexico, and in particular those countries with a range of social programs that can be leveraged to advance financial inclusion, a central body responsible for the financial inclusion agenda is an important step to improved policy making and leveraging of the diverse resources within the government. A number of countries have alraedy adopted official financial inclusion strategies, and the establishment of the council offers an important example of how such policy statements can be effectively institutionalized across government agencies.