MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Easing Regulations to Allow Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) to Loan up to $1,600 to Borrowers Earning up to $2,500

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central banking authority of the country, recently announced that it raised the limit on the total of all loans disbursed by microfinance institutions (MFIs) to a single borrower from INR 50,000 (USD 790) to INR 100,000 (USD 1,600).

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: After Suspension Due to Low Repayment Rates, Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Negara Indonesia, Bank Mandiri Resume Government’s $1.5b Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) Microloan Program

Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Mandiri, three state-owned banks in Indonesia, will resume efforts to distribute IDR 20 trillion (USD 1.5 billion) during 2015 via the microloan program Kredit Usaha Rakyat (KUR) [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Grants Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO) Status to Indian Microfinance Network Sa-Dhan

Sa-Dhan, a microfinance network in India with 251 member organizations, reportedly has been granted status as a self-regulatory organization (SRO) by the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central banking authority.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions African Century Leasing (ACL) of Zimbabwe, Reefy of Egypt Acquire Banking Licenses; ACL to Accept Deposits

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe recently granted a banking license to African Century Leasing (ACL), making it the first microfinance institution in the country that may accept deposits.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Colombian Government Creating Licensing System for Electronic Deposit-Taking Entities

The government of Colombia recently approved a law to regulate and license electronic deposit-taking entities. These financial institutions, designated Sociedades Especializadas en Depósitos y Pagos Electrónicos (Specialized Electronic Deposit and Payment Institutions), may be incorporated by individuals or legal entities, such as telecom operators or postal offices. With a minimum capital requirement of USD 3 million, these entities can allow users to save, make payments and receive money, primarily through correspondent agents [1] [2].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Social Performance Task Force, Smart Campaign Launch Responsible Microfinance Facility (RMF) for Training, Technical Assistance in the Middle East, Africa

The Social Performance Task Force, a US-based nonprofit charged with addressing questions about measuring and managing social performance, in collaboration with the Smart Campaign, a client-protection initiative of US-based nonprofit Accion, recently launched the Responsible Microfinance Facility (RMF), a three-year initiative funded by the French government’s Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD)  to improve the capacity and performance of microfinance institutions in Africa and the Middle East.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Fonds pour l’inclusion Financière en République Démocratique du Congo (FPM) Receives Authorization from Central Bank of the Congo to Issue Wholesale Financing to Lenders Serving Micro-, Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)

Fonds pour l’inclusion Financière en République Démocratique du Congo (FPM) SA, a nonprofit organization based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that was formerly known as Fonds de Promotion de la Microfinance, recently received authorization to operate as a financial company from the Central Bank of the Congo, DRC’s central banking authority.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Decree in Belarus Requires Microfinance Organizations to Register with National Bank Within 6 Months

The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus (NBRB), the central banking authority of the country, has announced that organizations providing microfinance services in the country have six months to register with the bank to comply with the guidelines set forth in “Decree No. 325,” a presidential order “on the raising and provision of loans, the operation of microfinance organizations” [1].

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India Completes Phase I of Jan-Dhan Initiative to Provide Banking Services to Every Household

Arun Jaitley, the Indian Finance Minister, reportedly announced that the government has completed Phase I of the Jan-Dhan initiative, a scheme created by Prime Minister Modi to give all Indians access to banking services, including credit, savings, insurance, direct benefits transfer and electronic payments.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Egyptian Financial Supervisory Association Regulates Microfinance Companies, Setting $2m Capital Requirement

The Egyptian Financial Supervisory Association (EFSA), a governmental body that supervises and regulates the financial sector in the country, recently issued a resolution regulating the activities undertaken by microfinance companies.

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh Launches Lead Microfinance Institution System to Coordinate Poverty-reduction Programmes

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi government body that oversees the operations of nongovernmental organization (NGO) microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly is planning the launch of a Lead Microfinance Institution System to coordinate government-funded poverty reduction programmes at the ground level. [1] The model replicates the Lead Bank System present in the country, where a lead bank oversees the arrangement of loan syndications. One goal of this new system is to reduce possible overlaps among international and domestic poverty-reduction programmes that are active in the country. MRA Director Sazzad Hossain also offered the following example of what a lead MFI would do: “Suppose, 200 people are eligible for credits in an upazila, but under the existing system 150 people are getting the credit facilities. The lead MFI will find out why the rest are not under MFI credit programme.”

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Peru, Colombia, the Philippines Top 2014 Global Microscope on Microfinance Business Environment

According to the Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment 2014, a recent report by the UK-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Peru is the top country in enabling microfinance for the seventh consecutive year.