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Financial inclusion 03 May 2017

González-Páramo: "Digital finances are making the financial inclusion of SMEs possible"

BBVA has a notable presence at the B20 summit being held in Berlin. “Digital finances are making the financial inclusion of SMEs possible,” said BBVA’s Executive Director José Manuel González-Páramo during his presentation on Tuesday. Joining him in the discussion was German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

On Tuesday, BBVA’s Executive Director, José Manuel González-Páramo, participated in the B20 summit being held in Berlin. When asked about his efforts in the working group on financing small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) José Manuel González-Páramo indicated that the digitization of finance is “good news” for smaller companies. “Digital finances are making the financial inclusion of SMEs possible, also in developed economies,” he said. “Small and simple solutions for SMEs are working quite well,” in reference to the multitude of payment apps, among others. “Digitization is breaking down barriers and making financing accessible for companies,” he maintained. This phenomenon is taking place on the demand side, thanks to cell phone penetration, and on the supply side through the existence of new competitors that complement banks, he explained.

He also added that the direction taken by financial regulation after the crisis is “justified” for the system’s resilience and “fair.” However, we warned of “the unintended consequences of regulation that make financing more difficult for SMEs,” in terms of the regulatory compliance costs that banks must face.

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The BBVA executive director also called on regulators to work in close collaboration with the financial sector in new areas, such as the use of the cloud and blockchain. “Regulators should acknowledge that the fast development of the financial industry deserves close relations with the industry.” In his opinion, it’s important to strike the right balance to avoid “regulating too early, maybe blocking innovation, or too late, maybe allowing what is now too small to be concerned about to become too big to fail,” he argued.

Finally, he stressed that: “regulators’ ambitions should be holistic in nature.” In other words, regulators should not limit themselves to financial institutions, but also take into account other players participating in the new ecosystem of financial services.

In a panel discussion titled “Resilience: Are We Prepared Enough for Future Crises?”, José Manuel González-Páramo participated alongside German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble; Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan; Crowdsurfer CEO Emily Mackay; UBS COO Axel Lehmann; and Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme.

José Manuel González-Páramo is co-chair of one of the B20 working groups on Financing Growth and Infrastructure. This forum incorporates the global corporate community’s voice and recommendations and works in parallel to the G20. In 2017, the G20 and B20 were chaired by Germany and in 2018, Argentina will lead both groups. After several meetings throughout the year, the B20 will present the culmination of its work in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel: their recommendations for the G20 leaders.

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