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Client Protection Reference Tools

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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Tool Recommendations to Address Gaps

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After conducting an initial evaluation of practices with the Getting Started Questionnaire, using this helpful guide “Tool Recommendations to Address Gaps” can help an MFI be directed towards especially helpful resources to improve its client protection performance and adherence to the standards and indicators of the Client Protection Principles.

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Monitoring Individual Repayment in Group Guarantee Mechanism

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“Monitoring Individual Repayment in Group Guarantee Mechanism” shares the experiences and discussions on how best to track the exercises of group guarantees at the individual level in the sector comparing the structured approach of MBK in Indonesia and the more informal approach Utkarsh in India. The tool demonstrates two simple approaches of monitoring the implementation of group guarantees.

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Client Protection for Youth Clients (UNCDF – YouthStart Technical Note)

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This technical note is intended to assist Financial Service Providers currently serving youth, planning to serve youth, or making improvements to existing services to do so in a way that ensures that youth are protected. The technical note synthesizes adaptations made by UNCDF – YouthStart to the indicators of the Smart Campaign´s self-assessment tool.

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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 Operations

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This tool suggests appropriate roles for 11 of the most common areas of microfinance operations. FIs can use this tool to assign client protection responsibilities to each operational department and to understand how responsibilities are shared among operational departments.

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Smart Microinsurance: An Overview for Microfinance Institutions on Incorporating Client Protection Practices into Microinsurance

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The Smart Campaign and the Microinsurance Network present “Smart Microinsurance”—a tool designed specifically for microfinance institutions (MFIs) that serve as intermediaries, offering microinsurance products provided by an external insurance company.

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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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Codes of Conduct and the Role of Microfinance Associations in Client Protection

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The technical note explores the variety of reasons why and how associations may choose to adopt and promote self-regulation through a Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct. In the note, three case examples illustrate different approaches taken by associations in India, Pakistan, and Mexico.

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Compulsory Group Training Tool

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This tool is designed to help MFIs develop a more robust framework to incorporate good client protection practices into their compulsory group training. This tool is most suited for MFIs who employ village banking methodology and Grameen Style “group or groups” methodology.

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Collections Guidelines for Financial Service Providers

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This tool is a checklist for institutions to assess their collections policies and practices, with the goal of strengthening client protection during the collections process. The tool addresses collections policies, practices, manuals, and training of field staff. 

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Putting Transparency into Practice: Communicating About Pricing

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This brief document describes how financial service providers observe the principle of transparency, current resources that exist to help providers understand and communicate their prices to clients, and information on where providers can find more information from the Smart Campaign and MFTransparency.

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Investor/Donor Planning Guide for Implementing Client Protection Initiatives

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Investors and donors can use this short worksheet to plan for the integration of client protection into their due diligence processes and their funding strategies. The worksheet first guides the user through the process of assessing current resources and priorities, to take stock of where client protection efforts may best fit within current workflows.

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Avoidance of Over-indebtedness: Guidelines for Financial and Non-financial Evaluation

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This tool is for financial service providers that want to incorporate good client protection practices into their evaluation processes for individual loan clients. Specifically, the tool provides guidelines for determining a loan applicant’s capacity and willingness to repay a loan.

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Transparency in Promotions and Sales: A Checklist for Financial Service Providers

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This tool focuses on the first point of contact with the client—the initial “sales pitch.” Financial service providers can use this tool to improve transparency when promoting and selling credit and savings products.  The tool contains five “good practice” checklists.

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Smart Lending: Client Protection in the Group Lending Process – India

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This guide is designed to help MFIs incorporate good client protection practices into their group lending policies and operations. The tool is applicable to Grameen-style group of groups credit methodology and was developed specifically for Indian MFIs.

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Client Protection and Financial Education Simulation

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With this online tool, you can complete a simulation as if you were managers or loan officers of an MFI. During each simulation, you can see the effects that your decisions have on the success of a fictional microfinance institution.

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Smart Lending: Client Protection in the Group Lending Process

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This guide is designed to help MFIs incorporate good client protection practices into their group lending policies and operations. The tool is applicable to a wide range of credit methodologies and can be adapted for use by various forms of group lending including village banking methodology and “group of groups” methodology.

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Smart Savings: Client Protection in the Savings Process

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This guide is designed to help MFIs, banks, NGOs, and other types of financial institutions identify and integrate good client protection practices in the savings process at every point of interaction with the client.

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Smart Lending: Client Protection in the Individual Loan Process

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This guide is designed to help microfinance institutions with individual lending operations integrate good client protection practices at the intersection points throughout the credit process. At each point in the individual lending process, the guidelines explain how MFI staff should incorporate client protection into policies and operations.

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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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Debt Management Guide

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The National Credit Regulator (NCR) of South Africa publishes a debt management guide that provides basic information about how to identify over-indebtedness, tips on how to avoid and deal with over-indebtedness, consumers’ rights, how to access a debt counselor and tips on how to avoid and deal with money-scams, repossessions and surrenders.

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Client Protection and Ethics Codes: Examples for Getting Started

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A number of organizations have already adopted either client protection or ethics codes and charters. Following are links to some organizations who have shared their internal codes with the Campaign.

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Due Diligence Checklist for Investors

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This Checklist for Investors is the product of collaboration between CGAP, The Smart Campaign, and many investors. It draws on investor practice and experience. This checklist is not designed as a standalone due diligence tool. Instead, it is designed to lower transaction costs by presenting questions to add to common due diligence topics.

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