Magda Bianco is Head of the Bank of Italy Consumer Protection and Financial Education Department since June 2020. She is responsible for banking conduct supervision, complaints management, the banking ombudsman, financial education programs.
She holds a PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics. At the Bank of Italy since 1989, she worked in the Research Department until 1999. She then moved to the Law and Economics Unit, which she headed since 2007. Since 2014 she had been responsible for the Consumer Protection and Anti-Money Laundering Directorate.
She has published articles on corporate governance, corporate finance, bankruptcy, economics of civil justice, regulatory matters and gender issues. She served as an economic advisor to the Italian Minister of Justice in 2012-2013 and has been economic and financial consultant to the Ministry since 2013. She is a consultant for economic and financial matters for the President of the Republic.
She is a member of the Financial Consumer Protection Network (FinCoNet), the OECD International Network for Financial Education, the Italian Committee for financial education. She is Co-Chair for the G20-Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion for the years 2021-23.
Married, with a daughter and a son, she has coordinated the Bank of Italy’s Equal Opportunity Committee for the years 2014-2020.
Financial inclusion has received increasing attention over the years as a fundamental instrument to favor growth, reduce inequalities, and address poverty. In order to support policy choices aimed at enhancing financial inclusion we contribute to the analysis of its main drivers, with a special focus on demand-side factors, enquiring, more specifically, whether financial education help in enhancing financial inclusion. A cross-country analysis shows that, controlling for GDP per capita, higher levels of participation of individuals to the economic life, financial knowledge and the existence of financial capability/education strategies, reduce the probability of a country to be in the low financial inclusion segment. Since, over the last few years digitalization is offering enormous opportunities to expand inclusion (but also presents challenges to be addressed), we offer some evidence on the relationship between financial literacy and digital skills, showing that (at least in more advanced countries) digital skills acquired early in life are positively correlated with financial literacy. Based on our findings, we suggest some directions for future research, for measurement and data collection, and on relevant policy efforts.