Category: Regulation

SPECIAL REPORT: Narda Sotomayor on Regulating Microfinance via Proportionality, Financial Education and Mobile Money in Peru

MicroCapital: Can you tell us a bit about your talk planned for European Microfinance Week on “balancing financial inclusion with market stability”?

Narda Sotomayor: A key element to achieve this balance is the principle of proportionality, under which regulations vary based on the risks associated with the product or service in question. For instance, for microloans for businesses with overall debt below PEN 20,000 (USD 7,000), the required documentation is minimal, and loan provision requirements are based only on the number of days any loans are overdue. The lender has the freedom to establish prices to cover its costs, such that institutional sustainability is guaranteed. It was determined that anti-money-laundering rules were making it too costly to open deposit accounts for the poor, mainly because of the heavy burden of “know-your-customer” documentation. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Institutions in Ghana to Charge Clients Unspecified Fee for Maintaining Deposits Beginning in October 2014

According to a statement attributed to Mr. Collins Amponsah, the board chairman of the Ghana association of microfinance companies (GAMC), an association of 560 member companies providing microfinance services, all Ghanaian microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are members of GAMC will begin charging clients an unspecified fee for managing their deposits beginning in October of 2014. Continue reading

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SPECIAL REPORT: Clinton Global Initiative Members Emphasize Empowering Women and Girls for Fifth Consecutive Year

In the US city of New York today, at the tenth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, an effort by the US-based Clinton Foundation to connect public and private organizations to address problems such as poverty and climate change, a major focus was placed on empowering women and girls for the fifth consecutive year. Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, argued that it is critical to reach out to those with whom you generally disagree in order to seek common ground from which progress is possible. Regarding issues facing women and girls, Minister Ploumen argued that “leveling the playing field” for females involves more than economics, but extends into areas such as inheritance law, safety in transportation, and the passage and enforcement of laws against domestic violence. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana (BoG) Closes Down Illegal Microfinance Institutions, Increases Capital Requirements

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the country’s central bank, reportedly is cancelling the licenses of and shutting down microfinance institutions (MFIs) that are engaging in practices such as: (1) charging interest rates in excess of government-mandated limits; (2) transferring operating licenses among organizations; or (3) changing their publicly recognized business name repeatedly in order to mitigate any effects of the firm’s poor reputation among current and former customers. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Cape Verde Engages ADA in Adjusting Legal Framework to Encourage Microfinance

The island nation of Cape Verde, with the support of Luxembourg-based NGO ADA, which was founded in 1994 as Appui au Développement Autonome, has established a new law enabling a regulatory framework intended to be more conducive to microfinance. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Sanabel 2014 Conference : “Microfinance at Crossroads : Current Developments and Future Prospects in the Arab States”, September 29-30, 2014, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Event Name: Sanabel 2014 Conference : Microfinance at Crossroads : Current Developments and Future Prospects in the Arab States

Event Date: September 29 – September 30, 2014

Event Location: Intercontinental – Festival City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh Warns of Punishment for Non-compliant MFIs

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a Bangladeshi government body that oversees the operations of nongovernmental organization (NGO) microfinance institutions (MFIs), reportedly has issued a warning to MFIs in the country in response to violations of MRA regulations such as the requirement of a 15-day grace period on new loans before collecting loan repayments as well as the use of a declining-balance method of calculating interest. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to Encourage Banks to Deploy Rural Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), Use Unclaimed Funds for Financial Education

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has initiated a program under which banks are requested to install an unspecified number of automatic teller machines (ATMs) in rural areas that will dispense bank notes in relatively small denominations. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: India’s Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) to Revise Microinsurance Product Structure in Effort to Encourage Growth of Industry

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), the government agency charged with overseeing India’s insurance market, reportedly is set to release revised guidelines on the structure and features of microinsurance products in order to allow insurance companies to incentivize third-party institutions to sell the products. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan Encourages Banks to Reduce Microcredit Transaction Fees

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) of Taiwan, the government agency charged with regulating the island’s insurance and banking sectors, reportedly has encouraged banks to reduce the fees they charge on microcredit loans in Taiwan. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Bank of Ghana Demands Photos of Owners of Microfinance Institutions to Deter Theft of Deposits

The Bank of Ghana (BoG), the central bank of the country, reportedly has implemented more stringent regulations for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in an effort to address an increase in failed microbanks and stolen customer deposits, which have been attributed to “bad management practices, increasing non-performing loans, fraudulent activities and expansion without a commensurate increase in capacity.” Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Central Bank of Tajikistan Unveil Draft for Mobile Banking Regulations

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a UK-based multilateral institution, and the central bank of Tajikistan have been collaborating to launch a regulatory framework with the aim of utilizing technology and retail infrastructure to help banks and other organizations offer financial services outside of bank branches in the country.  Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) of Bangladesh Cancels Licenses of 46 Microfinance Institutions Claiming Misuse of Funds

The Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), a government body that oversees the nongovernment microfinance institutions (NGO-MFIs) in Bangladesh, reportedly has rescinded the licenses of 46 microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country for being in violation of “existing directives in running their operations” [1]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Nigerian Government Exempts Microfinance Banks (MFBs) from Value-Added Tax

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), the Nigerian government agency in charge of tax policy and collection, reportedly has revised the country’s tax laws to exempt microfinance banks (MFBs) from paying value-added tax (VAT) in an attempt to support the income of MFBs. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Implements Bank Verification Number (BVN) Identification System for Customers in Lagos

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the country’s central banking authority, reportedly has initiated the first phase of a nationwide identification system upgrade for bank branches in Lagos. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) to Lead Supervision of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Indonesia

Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK), the Indonesian government agency that regulates the country’s financial sector, reportedly has signed a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Indonesian government agency in charge of domestic issues, and the Ministry of Cooperative and Small and Medium Enterprises, an Indonesian regulator of smaller businesses, in an effort to improve the regulation and supervision of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Indonesia [1][2]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE EVENT: Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Present “2014 AFI Global Policy Forum,” September 9-11, 2014, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Event Name: Alliance for Financial Inclusion Global Policy Forum “Global Partnerships, National Goals, Empowering People”

Event Date: September 9 – 11, 2014

Event Location: Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: National Housing Bank (NHB) of India Approves Muthoot Finance to Offer Home Mortgages

The National Housing Bank (NHB), the Indian governmental agency that oversees housing finance, reportedly has granted Muthoot Finance, an Indian non-banking finance company (NBFC) that lends using gold items as collateral, approval to begin providing housing finance services. Continue reading

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