Prof. Rym Ayadi, Chair of the European Banking Authority Stakeholders Banking Group (BSG) and President of the Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association – EMEA, participated at the Conference “Financial integration and inclusive development. A View from the Mediterranean Countries”, which took place in Madrid on 12-13 December 2019.

The conference was organised by Banco de España and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), with the support of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The conference analysed key aspects of the economy of the Mediterranean countries, with the participation of experts and representatives from banks and financial institutions, as well as research centers and the academic world.

The event opened with welcoming addresses by Pablo Hernández de Cos, Governor of the Bank of Spain Isidro González, Deputy Secretary General, Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and Senén Florensa, President of the Executive Committee, European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). Ambassador Permanent Representative of Spain to UN and the International Organizations in Vienna. Among the participants were Marouane El Abassi, Governor – Central Bank of Tunisia, Carlos da Silva Costa, Governor – Banco de Portugal, Abdellatif Jouahri, Governor – Bank Al-Maghrib (Morocco), Saddek Omar Ali Elkaber, Governor – Central Bank of Libya.

Prof. Ayadi, participated at the session “Boosting financial education to tackle social inequalities”, along with Fatima Zahra Aziz, Executive Director, Fondation marocaine pour l’education financière,  Andrea Grifoni, Policy Analyst, Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD, and  Nahla Khaddage Bou Diab, Deputy General Manager – Chief Operating Officer, AM Bank s.a.l. (Lebanon). The session was chaired by Fernando Tejada, Director of the Market Conduct and Claims Department, Banco de España.

Prof. Ayadi emphasised the role of financial education to enhance financial inclusion. She highlighted that financial inclusion enhances social inclusion and tackles social inequalities. However, she warned that financial education must not be the argument to reduce consumer protection in financial services.