Last week, as its football team was preparing for its match with the Netherlands, Mexico hosted the International Forum for Financial Inclusion. It was an important event, opened by the President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, and attended by such notables as Christine Lagarde. By all accounts, it was an excellent meeting where representatives of financial regulators from around the world shared their experiences and strategies to promote financial inclusion in their countries.
But one thing stood out. During his speech, Jaime González Aguade, President of the Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (agency in charge of regulating Mexico's financial sector) stated:
I have no reason to dispute his assertion. But one has to wonder — how should this leadership be reconciled with the high rates of overindebtedness among the country's microfinance clients? And when the bubble bursts, might it not undermine the very efforts to expand financial inclusion that Mexico is promoting?