Category: Trends/Challenges

MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Half the World is Unbanked, by Alberto Chaia, Aparna Dalal, Tony Goland, Maria Jose Gonzalez, Johnathan Morduch, and Robert Schiff

Written by Alberto Chaia, Aparna Dalal, Tony Goland, Maria Jose Gonzalez, Johnathan Morduch, and Robert Schiff, Published by the Financial Access Initiative in October 2009, available at: http://financialaccess.org/sites/default/files/110109%20HalfUnbanked_0.pdf

This paper uses improved data on financial usage, socioeconomic, and demographics to construct an accurate estimate of how many adults (older than 15 years) in the world do not use formal financial services. The data sources included the estimates of 2003 access to formal and semi-formal financial services (using data from banks, microfinance institutions (MFIs), and household surveys) from Patrick Honohan’s 2008 paper “”Cross-country variation in household access to financial services,” 2005 population, per capita income and urbanization data from the United Nation’s Human Development Index, and poverty data from the World Bank’s PovcalNet [1,2,3]. The authors specifically study “usage” of financial services as opposed to “financial access.” Continue reading

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MEET THE BOSS: Interview with Robert Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance (Part Two of a Two Part Series)

Bob Annibale is Global Director of Citi Microfinance. He leads the bank’s commercial relationships with microfinance institutions, on a multi-business and product basis, providing financing and product partnerships to institutions that serve the poor and the unbanked.

He joined Citibank in 1982. After a first assignment in Greece, he held a number of senior treasury, risk and corporate positions at Citi in Athens, Bahrain, Kenya, London and New York.  Mr. Annibale completed his BA degrees in History and Political Science at Vassar College and his Masters Degree in African Studies (History) at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.

Mr. Annibale served on the Board of Advisors for the United Nations High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor. He represents Citi on the Board of the Microfinance Information Exchange, on the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds and with the Microfinance Network. He also serves on a number of other external boards and councils. Continue reading

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MEET THE BOSS: Interview with Robert Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance (Part One of a Two Part Series)

Bob Annibale is Global Director of Citi Microfinance. He leads the bank’s commercial relationships with microfinance institutions, on a multi-business and product basis, providing financing and product partnerships to institutions that serve the poor and the unbanked.

He joined Citibank in 1982. After a first assignment in Greece, he held a number of senior treasury, risk and corporate positions at Citi in Athens, Bahrain, Kenya, London and New York.  Mr. Annibale completed his BA degrees in History and Political Science at Vassar College and his Masters Degree in African Studies (History) at the University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies.

Mr. Annibale served on the Board of Advisors for the United Nations High Level Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor. He represents Citi on the Board of the Microfinance Information Exchange, on the Council of Microfinance Equity Funds and with the Microfinance Network. He also serves on a number of other external boards and councils. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL.ORG STORY: Developments in the Past Year of Microfinance Regulation Coverage by Microcapital.org

     Microfinance regulation has provided rich fodder for reporting over the past twelve months of coverage by Microcapital.org.  Nearly twelve months ago, in November 2008, Microcapital.org reported on the World Economic Forum’s Inaugural Summit on the challenges posed by regulatory frameworks as policy makers grappled with the question of how to advance microfinance.  Since that time, there have been a number of international agencies as well as developed country governments involved in researching and collaborating on guidelines for the strengthening of microfinance regulation. On the other hand, there have also been doubts about the relevance of regulation to microfinance sector: Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL.ORG STORY: Communications Company Telenor Pakistan Launch Mobile Banking Service with Tameer Microfinance Bank

Telenor Pakistan, a subsidiary of the Norwegian mobile communications company, Telenor, and Tameer Microfinance Bank, a microfinance bank that is partially owned by Telenor, have launched a mobile banking service called “easypaisa” [1,2,3,4]. With the service, customers will be able to manage their accounts via their mobile phone, as well as send and receive money and pay bills from various outlets [1]. Continue reading

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MICROFINANCE PAPER WRAP-UP: Turning Principles into Practice: A Nicaraguan MFI Commits to Consumer Protection, by the Microfinance Gateway

Written by the Microfinance Gateway, Published on the Microfinance Gateway in July 2009, available at: http://www.microfinancegateway.org/p/site/m/template.rc/1.26.10904/

This article covers the steps taken by Banex, a Nicaraguan microfinance institution (MFI), to ensure that the Client Protection Principles put together by ACCION’s Center for Financial Inclusion and the Consultive Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) are put into practice [1,2,3,4]. The principles were formed following the initial public offering (IPO) of Compartmos, a Mexican MFI, led to speculation over whether MFIs are taking profits into consideration more than the best interest of their clients [5]. The Client Protection Principles are as follows: Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL.ORG STORY: Remittance Duopoly: International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), African Development Bank (AfDB) and Inter-American Dialogue (IAD) Hold Global Forum on Remittances Calling for More Competition in African Remittance Market

The Global Forum on Remittances 2009, organized by the United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with the Inter-American Dialogue (IAD), is calling for the lifting of restrictions and costly fees imposed on the USD 40 billion sent as remittances to Africa each year [1]. The forum, a follow-up to similar forums held in 2005 and 2007, also addressed a proposal by G8 leaders in July 2009 to reduce costs of remittances by 50 percent over the next five years [2, 3]. Continue reading

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MICROCAPITAL.ORG STORY: Braking Securitizations – India’s Economic Times Reports That The Reserve Bank of India Proposes To Ask Originating Banks To Hold Loans On Their Balance Sheets For 6 Months To Stem ‘Reckless Securitizations’ And Suggests That Holding Periods Should Be Tailored For Banks Originating Microfinance Loans

A recent article in India’s Economic Times entitled ‘The Reserve Bank of India may ask banks to hold securitised debt for six months’ [1] by Gaurav Pai noted that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) [2] may ask Indian banks to retain originated debt on their loan books for six to seven months before selling or securitising those loans to other market players. A securitisation is a financing technique under which loans originated by a bank are sold to another market participant, usually a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for an agreed price. The SPV funds the purchase of the portfolio of loans from the originating bank by issuing debt instruments to investors. These debt instruments are often known as ‘asset backed securities’ as they are typically backed or collateralised by the portfolio of loans. Continue reading

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