The president of Mexico’s Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV), Juan Pablo Graf Noriega, has become the new chair of AFI’s Board of Directors after assuming the role at the network’s 6th annual general meeting (AGM) on 8 September 2021.
Graf, the second leader from Latin America and the Caribbean to take up the post after Peru’s Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFP in 2014-2015, was previously the board’s vice-chair. He will assume the board chair role for a two-year-tenure.
Addressing the more than 300 participants from 72 member institutions who attended the virtual assembly, Graf thanked the board for its professionalism and dedication, particularly as COVID-19-related macroeconomic and social shocks continued to threaten global financial inclusion gains.
This, CNBV’s president added, had intensified the board and network’s decisive role in supporting members’ regulatory policies and promoting a successful cooperation model, both of which were extending the reach of financial inclusion among last-mile populations.
“Financially excluded people around the world need a strong and effective AFI organization in the years to come,” Graf said, singling out youth, women, migrants, forcibly displaced and rural populations for targeted interventions.
“AFI will continue to be a fundamental player in financial inclusion and it’s an honor to be part of AFI and its work,” he added.
Before joining CNBV, Graf had served as the head of banking, securities and savings at Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. Prior to that, he had spent 18 years in financial system analysis at Banco de México. At the country’s central bank, he had participated in the implementation of Basel III in Mexico and represented Banco de México in the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Financial Stability Council.
Thank you, Governor Amer!
Governor Amer was recently ranked among the world’s top 10 central bankers in a list of more than 100 countries, earning an “A” grade in Global Finance’s Central Banker Report Cards 2021. Other governors from the AFI network to receive the highest rating were Bank Al-Maghrib’s Abdellatif Jouahri and The People’s Bank of China’s Yi Gang.
Having taken over the board’s helm less than a year before the outbreak of COVID-19, Governor Amer oversaw a period in the network’s history marked by the accelerated development of needs-based, practical and high-impact interventions aimed at mitigating the impacts of the pandemic on financial inclusion policy implementation.
According to the AFI Policy Response Survey 2020, close to 70 percent of the 137 policies and regulations reported by members related to COVID-19, with provisions made on debt restructurings, loan deferments, increased liquidity, among others.
Looking back, Governor Amer said that “the world has changed very much along with the mandates of central banks, and I thank AFI’s membership and its founders, who made the network a reality. I’m proud that more countries are joining every year.”
AFI recently welcomed two new members into the fold: Central Bank of Iraq, which joined as a principal member in December 2020, and Superintendencia de Bancos de la República Dominicana, an associate member as of June 2021.
Governor Amer echoed President Graf in his praise of AFI’s peer learning and knowledge exchange concept, adding that “international exposure and learning from others had helped us a lot.”
He also thanked Central Bank of Jordan Governor Dr. Ziad Fariz, who re-affirmed his readiness to host next year’s AFI GPF and AGM in Jordan.
A “sought-after” institution
AFI Executive Director Dr. Alfred Hannig was similarly optimistic in his global outlook, citing that a more than a decade of hard work and commitment among members was yielding impressive results.
Since AFI’s establishment in 2008, members had reported developing and implementing more than 820 policy and regulatory changes to enhance financial inclusion in their countries. This, he said, had contributed to around 634 million people gaining access to formal financial services.
“One could also mention many other achievements, such as the countless Maya Declaration commitments on financial inclusion, the accords endorsed, the fact that AFI has become a sought-after institution among standard-setting bodies, funders and stakeholders keen to learn about what is happening on the ground in the emerging and developing world, and much more,” he said.
Leaders from across the AFI membership will assemble again virtually on 28-30 September for the AFI Policy Leadership Dialogue where they will deliberate on how best to achieve an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery, and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Created in 1995, CNBV is a decentralized agency of Mexico’s Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. It supervises and regulates entities that make up the country’s financial system as well as individuals and other legal entities to ensure the stability and correct operation of the financial system, and to maintain and promote its healthy and balanced development for the protection of public interests. CNBV co-hosted 2011 Global Policy Forum in Mexico’s Riviera Maya when AFI membership endorsed the Maya Declaration on financial inclusion.