News & Highlights What’s Happening

What’s Happening

Need for Client Protection in Cambodia

Washington, D.C., United States, June 30, 2015 – Last week, author and development researcher Anton Simanowitz presented his recently launched book “The Business of Doing Good” at the Center for Financial Inclusion. It chronicles the history and development of (now one of the biggest microfinance institution in Cambodia), AMK.

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Doing Digital Finance Right: The Case for Stronger Mitigation of Customer Risk

Washington, D.C., United States, June 26, 2015 – In the past decade digital financial services have expanded exponentially, coupled with the rapid development of technology. The future of financial inclusion seems to be riding on digital financial services, however, this opportunity for financial inclusion of under-served and unserved markets can only be realized if only customers trust and use these platforms.

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TPC the First Microfinance Institution in Cambodia Certified for Commitment to Client Protection

Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 10, 2015 (Press Release) — Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC) has been formally recognized as “Client Protection Certified” by the Smart Campaign for meeting strong standards of client care. TPC is the first microfinance institution in Cambodia to be awarded this prestigious certification and one of the 10 MFIs pursuing such recognition supported by funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) under the “Client Protection Initiative” project Implemented by Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA).

An official award ceremony took place at the Royal Angkor Resort on June 10th 2015. His Excellency KIM Vada, Director General of National Bank of Cambodia, awarded the certificate to TPC’s CEO, congratulating him on TPC’s commitment to protecting clients.

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Microfinance Leaders Offer Model Law Resource for Financial Consumer Protection

Washington, D.C., May 4, 2015 — The Microfinance CEO Working Group has published Client Protection Principles: Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection. This Model Law provides a framework of suggested legislation for financial consumer protection in the microfinance and broader financial inclusion industry.

“With this Model Law, we are pleased to offer real, actionable guidelines and tools for helping to ensure that client protection principles can, in fact, be embedded into the fabric of the microfinance industry,” said Alex Counts, President and CEO of Grameen Foundation and Co-Chair of the Microfinance CEO Working Group. “This framework reflects years of consideration and study across the entire spectrum of microfinance and financial inclusion.”

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Smart Campaign Announces Enhancements To Client Protection Certification Program

Improvements and Additions Align the Program with Certification Best Practices 

Washington, D.C., April 2, 2015 — The Smart Campaign, a global movement to embed a set of client protection principles into the fabric of the microfinance industry, today announced enhancements to its Client Protection Certification Program designed to improve and accelerate the certification process.

The Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Certification Program contains a core set of standards against which institutions are evaluated by independent, third-party certifiers. Certification publicly recognizes those institutions providing financial services to low income people whose standards of care uphold the seven Client Protection Principles. These principles cover important areas such as transparency, fair and respectful treatment, privacy, and prevention of over-indebtedness.

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Consumer Protection in Microfinance Exceeds 15-million-client Mark

Momentum Growing for Microfinance Institutions to Become Certified For Adhering to Client-Protection Principles 

Washington, D.C., February 19, 2015 — The Smart Campaign, a global movement to embed a set of client-protection principles into the fabric of the microfinance industry, today announced that the number of certified microfinance institutions (MFIs) is growing rapidly, and that those MFIs certified as meeting the standards for consumer protection now serve more than 15 million clients worldwide, according to MixMarket data.

To date, 28 microfinance institutions, from Latin America to Eastern Europe and South Asia, have achieved Smart Certification, including some of the world’s largest and best-known MFIs.

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Agence Française de Développement announces €2 million grant to increase implementation of responsible finance practices in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa

New initiative will promote social performance, client protection, and capacity building throughout the regions 

Français: L’Agence Française de Développement annonce une subvention de 2 millions d’euros pour étendre la mise en œuvre des pratiques de finance responsable en Afrique sub-saharienne, au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique du Nord

Arabic: الوكالة الفرنسية للتنمية تعلن عن منحة بقيمة 2 مليون يورو لزيادة تطبيق ممارسات التمويل المسئول في أفريقيا جنوب الصحراء، والشرق الأوسط، وشمال أفريقيا 

Washington, D.C., November 14, 2014 – Bringing together the efforts of the Social Performance Task Force and the Smart Campaign, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the French Development Agency, announced grant funding to support a responsible finance initiative that will build a foundation in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa; implement capacity building in the regions; and conduct needed research around client protection, transparent pricing, and social performance standards. This initiative will lay the groundwork for locally led responsible finance and unify local and international stakeholders. Successful implementation of these activities with AFD will help ensure that the industry has the well-being of its clients as its most important goal.

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Client Protection Remains Top Priority for Microfinance Institutions in Latin America

GUAYAQUILEcuador, Nov. 5, 2014 (PRNewswire) — The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client protection practices across the microfinance industry, today celebrates the recent certification of six Latin American microfinance institutions at the occasion of the Foromic, the largest annual industry gathering for the region.  In the past year the following institutions have become Client Protection Certified, meaning they meet strong standards of client care: BancoSol and Crecer in BoliviaFundacion Delamujer and Finamerica S.A. in ColombiaEdpyme Raiz in Peru; and Compartamos Banco in Mexico.
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“Borrow Wisely” Campaign goes live!

Starting (October 1st, 2014), 12 Microfinance Centre members are launching a major coordinated effort to improve client financial literacy across the ECA region. Over the next month, the “Borrow Wisely!” Campaign will unite staff of 12 MFIs across 9 countries in one single aim: educating thousands of existing and potential clients on how to borrow safe and responsible levels of debt.

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BRAC and Smart Campaign host Client Protection workshop for MFIs

Bangladesh (July 8, 2014)-  BRAC and the Smart Campaign joined forces in hosting a workshop on client protection principles at the BRAC Centre. The Smart Campaign, represented by Dr Hema Bansal, Director, South East Asia and South Asia, received a welcome reception from over twenty representatives from across Bangladesh’s microfinance sector.

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