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Gates Foundation – Central Banking Innovation for Financial Inclusion

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, represented by Adrienne Harris, Senior Research Fellow and Former Special Adviser to President Obama, gathered with the Bank of England, the FCA and a handful of our members to discuss how innovation in central banking could support and foster financial inclusion.

Onfido, WorldRemit, Neyber, PayPal, BlackRock and Salary Finance all joined this collaborative exercise in order to try and imagine what the future will hold. Discussions were kicked off by Adrienne who posed the daunting question “What would we come up with if we were to create a financial regulator from scratch?”.

Looking at what BigTech is coming up with at the moment, the participants debated what the operator will look like twenty years from now. Stretching the boundaries of what financial inclusion means and its definition for the future, the reflection took into account the imperatives of financial and digital literacy across generations together with the realities of the costs supported by providers. Is centralisation the solution or the problem?

Thank you to everyone who was involved in our lively discussions.