Mexican Migrants in the US Receive Access to Banco del Bienestar
Mexican migrants in the US will be able to open bank accounts remotely with Mexico’s Banco del Bienestar (Well-Being Bank). The measure, announced by Arturo Herrera, Minister of Finance and Public Credit (SCHP), will allow Mexicans living in the US to benefit from the bank’s exchange rate and will boost the financial inclusion of foreign currency recipients, who will be able to access their money through 2,393 service points throughout the country. “The institution already serves approximately 6.6 million beneficiaries across the country and in 2020 made investments worth MX$60 billion (US$3 billion),” Diana Álvarez Maury, Director of Banco del Bienestar, said.
The new measure comes at a time when remittances from the US continue to grow despite the lockdowns in many parts of the US. According to Juan José Li, Senior Economist at BBVA, remittances from the north could represent 3.8 percent of the country’s GDP in 2021, a significant increase over the previous year. “In November 2020, Banxico reported that US$3.3 billion in family remittances entered the country, an increase of 15.6 percent against 2019,” Li says in his report’ Reliance on Remittances’.
According to Li, three factors have driven this growth in an economical year marked by COVID-19. “First, many Mexicans were part of the US-driven stimulus programs to recover their economy. Second, cross-border workers are forced to send remittances electronically as a result of confinement. And third, the exchange rate, which reached MX$24 to the dollar, gave value to the money sent from the US,” he says.
Financial inclusion has become one of the primary objectives of the current administration, focused on banking the country’s most vulnerable areas. According to a report published by Citibanamex, the states in the country with the lowest financial inclusion rate are Chiapas, Guerrero, Oaxaca and Zacatecas, which are also the states that receive the most foreign currency in the form of remittances. However, the problem is not exclusive to these states. According to the National Banking and Securities Commission, only 12 percent of the Mexican population has access to a credit card.