Category: Regulation

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Zimbabwe Imposes 5% Tax on Mobile Money Services

The Central Bank of Zimbabwe reportedly has imposed a five-percent tax on the fees charged to effect mobile money transactions such as cash transfers, cellular phone payments and utility bill payments following lobbying effort by the Bankers Association of Zimbabwe, a nonprofit organization of member banks. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jamaican Ministry of Finance May Regulate Microfinance Institutions, Cap Interest Rate at 40%

The Jamaican Ministry of Finance reportedly has announced plans to regulate microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country. This is made possible by the proposed Microcredit Act of 2013 that would replace the Moneylending Act of 1999. Under the new law, the maximum annual interest rate would be set at 40 percent. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Thailand’s Ministry of Finance Caps Microfinance Interest Rate at 3% Monthly, Sets Capital Requirement at $311k

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance has announced that beginning early in 2014, microfinance institutions (MFIs) will be able to apply for microfinance operating licenses from the Bank of Thailand, the country’s central bank [1] [2]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Partnerships in Mobile Financial Services; Africa Microfinance Pricing Reports; Impact Assessment of EFC Zambia

Partnerships in Mobile Financial Services: Factors for Success;” by Mark Flaming, Aiaze Mitha, Michel Hanouch, Peter Zetterli and Greta Bull; published by the MasterCard Foundation and the International Finance Corporation (IFC); October 2013; 18 pages; available at http://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/88486280414940acb54ab79e78015671/Partnerships+in+Mobile+Financial+Services.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

This report presents findings from a study exploring the factors that determine the success of business partnerships among telecommunication firms, financial institutions and other organizations in providing mobile financial services. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: UN’s Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative Launches New Reporting Framework Seeking to Increase Transparency

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative, the United Nations-backed network of international investors seeking to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues into their investment strategies, has announced the launch of a new reporting framework for its signatories that is aimed to increase the transparency of their investment activities [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PUBLICATION ROUND-UP: Lessons Learned from Morocco’s Microcredit Crisis; Using Microinsurance to Promote Universal Coverage; Remittances and Post-Conflict Economic Growth

“Lessons Learned from the Moroccan Crisis;” by Nadine Chehade and Alice Negre; published by CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor); 2013; 4 pages; available at http://www.cgap.org/sites/default/files/Brief-Lessons-Learned-from-the-Moroccan-Crisis-July-2013_0.pdf

This report presents the results of a study conducted by US-based NGO CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor) that explored the Moroccan microcredit downturn, focusing on outlining “lessons learned from the rise, fall, and ongoing recovery of the Moroccan microcredit sector that may be useful when adapted in other countries in similar situations.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Majority of Ghanaian Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) Allegedly Lack Operating Licenses, Bank of Ghana to Increase Surveillance

Ghanaian Radio XYZ Online, an online news publication, reportedly has discovered from an undisclosed source that of approximately 550 operating microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Ghana, only an estimated 200 are licensed. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Inclusion 2020 Announces Roadmap to Financial Inclusion, Highlights Importance of Technology

Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020), a campaign to extend financial inclusion to 2 billion people in developing countries by the year 2020, recently announced the findings of a survey of 300 financial sector practitioners on their perspectives about opportunities and challenges to FI2020’s goals. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Kenya’s Credit Information Sharing (CIS) Mechanism Expanded to Deposit-Taking Microfinance Institutions, Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies, Expected to Lower Interest Rates

A Credit Information Sharing (CIS) feature that was implemented by Kenyan financial institutions in 2010 reportedly has been expanded to include deposit-taking microfinance institutions (DTMs) and savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOS) in an effort to increase information sharing among financial institutions [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: South Africa’s Futuregrowth Asset Management to Curtail Investments in Microlenders Distributing “Unsecured” Loans

Futuregrowth Asset Management, a South-Africa based investment company, recently announced that it will curtail its investments in microlenders that advance “unsecure” loans without collateral, which allegedly often results in borrowers receiving loans that they are unable to repay [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladeshi Grameen Bank to Be Placed Under Jurisdiction of Bangladesh Bank

The Bangladeshi government reportedly has decided to place the Grameen Bank, a Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI), under the direct control of the Bangladesh Bank, the country’s central bank, allegedly in order to “better monitor” the microcredit organization [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Indonesia’s Otoritas Jasa Keuangan to Regulate Microfinance Institutions Beginning in 2015

Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), an agency of the Indonesia government that regulates the financial services sector, has announced that it will take over the role of regulating microfinance institutions (MFIs) from Bank Indonesia, the central bank of Indonesia, in 2015. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Increases Liquidity Requirement for Microfinance Financial Institutions

The Bank of Ghana, a regulatory and supervisory authority over banking and financial institutions in Ghana, recently increased the minimum capital requirements of microfinance institutions (MFIs) to GHS 300,000 (USD 138,000) for MFIs that do not accept deposits and GHS 500,000 (USD 230,000) for deposit-taking MFIs [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bangladesh Bank Asks Commercial Banks to Provide Services to Readymade Garment (RMG) Workers

The Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country’s central bank, recently asked commercial banks to provide readymade garment (RMG) workers with bank accounts so they can receive wages through direct deposit. BB requested commercial banks not to require a minimum balance or charge for banking services. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Association of Microfinance Institutions Plans to Appeal New Law “On Restriction of Usurious Activities in the Kyrgyz Republic”

Almazbek Atambayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, reportedly has signed a law entitled “On Restriction of Usurious Activities in the Kyrgyz Republic” that establishes an interest rate cap on microloans. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria Launches $1.3b Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has launched a NGN 220 billion (USD 1.3 billion) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Development Fund, which is intended to offer loans to microfinance institutions (MFIs) at an interest rate of 9 percent or less per year [1]. Continue reading

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