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Fair and respectful treatment of clients

Bank of Uganda Issues Financial Consumer Protection Guidelines: Know Your Rights

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bank-of-uganda logoIn line with its Financial Inclusion Project, the Central Bank of the Republic of Uganda (BoU), has issued guidelines for Financial Consumer Protection (FCP) Guidelines: Know Your Rights to all Supervised Financial Institutions (SFIs) including commercial banks, credit insititutions and microfinance deposit-taking institutions. BoU’s Financial Inclusion Project is built on four pillars: (1) Financial Literacy; ( 2) Financial Consumer Protection; (3) Financial Innovations; and (4) Financial Services Data and Measurement.

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Crezcamos’ Welcome Kit

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The objective in the development of this kit was part of a series of strategic activities that Crezcamos carried out to strengthen its practices in client protection. The kit was developed with the guidance of the Smart Campaign tool ‘Essential Documents for New Clients.’

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Defining and Monitoring Collection Practices at FODEMI

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FODEMI’s management, a microfinance institution based in the North Andean region of Ecuador, had become aware of institutional gaps through a Smart Assessment conducted in February 2013. The resultant effort to bridge the gaps involved collaboration across departments including Human Resources, Social Performance, Internal Audit, Operations, and the Credit Department.

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The Full Feedback Cycle at Contactar

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After experiencing a period of rapid growth, Contactar realized it needed to be more aware of the needs and concerns of its ever-expanding client base. In January 2013, Contactar decided to upgrade its overall strategy to listen to client complaints and concerns after realizing that their suggestion box was clearly not enough.

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SPTF Universal Standards Implementation Example (How Bandhan Trains and Evaluates Credit Staff)

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This case study demonstrates how Bandhan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. implements Essential Practices from Dimension 5 (Treat Employees Responsibly) of the Universal Standards for SPM. Other financial service providers can use this example to improve their own Human Resources policies and practices.

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Smart Saving and Lending: Member Protection in SHG Model

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This tool is aimed at SHGs, Banks and NGOs (SHPIs) that want to incorporate good protection for SHG members. Since, the majority of SHG linkages with banks are based on Model II of the bank linkage program (Bank –Facilitating Agency –SHG Members) in this tool an attempt has been made to map the process of the SHG linkage with the bank with NGO acting as a facilitator.

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Smart Note: Treating Clients with Respect at Fundación Mundo Mujer Popayán

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This Smart Note describes how Fundación Mundo Mujer Popayán developed a stronger pro-client attitude. They developed a set of complementary policies, that, unlike previous material, use specific problem situations to address potential weaknesses in client protection practices.

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Smart Note: Responding to a Crisis at FUNDESER

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The Smart Note, “Responding to a Crisis at Fundeser” describes how the MFI dealt with the aftermath of both the worldwide credit crisis and the internal No Pay Movement (Movimiento No Pago). It explains how the institution overhauled its Human Resource department in an effort to steer the institution to recovery.

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Responsible Treatment of Clients: Practicing Non-discrimination

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This tool provides financial service providers with insight into the difference between client targeting and harmful discrimination and illuminates examples of common forms of discrimination. Finally, the tool provides financial service providers with seven action steps to correct and prevent discrimination.

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Smart Campaign Tools Training

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The Smart Campaign has developed dozens of tools to assist microfinance institutions (MFIs), investors, and networks/associations in the implementation of client protection. This PowerPoint training introduces participants to the client protection tools available from the Smart Campaign.

The training discusses two “entry points” for using Smart Campaign tools: 1) As part of a client protection strategy, and 2) As a solution to a specific problem. Participants review examples of each entry point, and learn about tools that can assist them during any step of client protection implementation.

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Nondiscrimination Policy of Fundación Paraguaya

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Fundación Paraguaya has shared its non-discrimination policy, which makes part of their Code of Ethics, with the Smart Campaign to be used as a tool for other institutions to emulate as they strive to implement non-discrimination policies of their own.

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Smart Note: Hiring Staff with Disabilities at AccessBank, Azerbaijan

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This Smart Note focuses on the efforts of AccessBank Azerbaijan to practice non-discrimination among employees through deliberate efforts to hire people with disabilities. Additionally, the Smart Note provides a testimonial from one of AccessBank’s employees about his experience as a person with disabilities working as a cashier at the MFI.

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Code of Conduct for Collections and Collections Practices for Group Loans at Swadhaar FinServe Pvt. Ltd.

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Swadhaar FinServe Pvt. Ltd. shared their Code of Conduct for Collections and their Collections Practices for Group Loans, both of which provide collections staff with specific guidelines and procedures for treating clients with dignity. The Smart Campaign encourages other institutions to review this good practice.

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Code of Conduct E-Learning Module (Grameen Financial Services Pvt. Ltd.)

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Grameen Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. (GFSPL) shared with the Campaign its Code of Conduct E-Learning Module, which is used to test employee knowledge of the institution’s Code of Conduct.  GFSPL’s code was created based on other codes endorsed by leading microfinance bodies in India as well as the guidelines offered by the Smart Campaign

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Smart Note: Ethical Staff Behavior at Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI)

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ASKI implements their written “Code of Conduct and Discipline” through staff training, staff performance reviews, client satisfaction surveys, and the ASKI Values Protocol—an established process for addressing staff violations of the code. In addition, clients can provide instant feedback on staff behavior.

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Illustrations and Activities for Training Loan Officers on Customers’ Rights and Responsibilities (Sahayata Micro Finance Pvt. Ltd.)

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In March 2011, the Smart Campaign issued a Call for Tools to the microfinance industry: “Training Staff for Ethical Behavior.” Sahayata Micro Finance Pvt. Ltd. (India) shared with the Campaign their illustrations and activities for training loan officers on customer rights and responsibilities.

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Complaints-Analysis Spreadsheet (Fundacion Delamujer)

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Fundacion Delamujer has shared with the Campaign their complaints analysis spreadsheet for monitoring and classifying complaints. It is intended to divide complaints according to their importance, type, and branch. 

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How to Develop an Institutional Code of Ethics

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Most microfinance institutions already have a Code of Ethics, but many of these Codes are not “living” documents that carry significance within the organization. This short guide provides concrete suggestions for creating or remaking an institutional Code of Ethics. 

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Best Practices in Collections Strategies

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ACCION International explains the collections process it employs and draws on its experiences with collections programs throughout Latin America and with new collaborations in India. Read more about the best practices that a microfinance institution should consider when attempting to successfully implement collections activities.

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