Publications

Taking Stock: Financial Education Initiatives for the Poor

01 May 2014

    When people have low levels of financial literacy, they often make unproductive financial decisions: they spend their money in suboptimal ways, borrow too much, save too little, and miss opportunities for investing. By communicating the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with sound money management, financial education can offer these individuals the means to use their scarce financial resources more effectively and to choose the financial services and products that best […]

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    Responsible Finance – A Catalyst for Responsible Business

    01 May 2014
    • Manfred Haebig
    • Roland Gross

    Global sustainable development challenges such as climate change or poverty cannot be addressed without Responsible Finance – finance that integrates social, environmental and governance concerns into the lending and investment decision making of financial institutions. Responsible financial systems can contribute to the goal of sustainable economic development through promoting business innovation and strengthening economic,environmental and social responsible behavior of businesses. Businesses need access to capital, credit or equity to expand […]

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    Bridging the Gap: The Business Case for Financial Capability

    01 May 2014
    • Anamitra Deb
    • Mike Kubzansky

    Between 500 million and 800 million of the world’s poor now hav eaccess to finance—yet our research suggests that only 110 million to 130 million of that number have received any sort of financial capability training. In other words, only 25% of these many millions have been taught how to use their new found access to the world of formal finance wisely and to their advantage. That leaves 75%—a staggering […]

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    Credit Reporting at the Base of the Pyramid

    30 Apr 2014

    Over the past five years, the microcredit sector has experienced unprecedented growth. The number of borrowers served by microfinance institutions (MFIs) has increased threefold to reach 120 million clients, according to MIX estimates as of December 2009—and by other estimates the number may be as high 190 million (Microcredit Summit Campaign 2011). In large markets, such as Mexico and South Africa, commercial banks and consumer lending companies have expanded their […]

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    Responsible Finance: Putting Principles to Work

    24 Apr 2014
    • Katharine McKee
    • Estelle Lahaye
    • Antonique Koning

    Early microfinance pioneers created the sector with the aspiration to improve poor people’s lives. There were huge swathes of “white space” where low-income households had little or no access to formal finance. This challenge, in turn, demanded sustainable and scalable models for delivering adequate financial services to poor people. This is the essence of the double bottom line in microfinance: a social commitment to benefiting clients married with a financial […]

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    Implementing the Client Protection Principles: A Technical Guide for Investors

    24 Apr 2014
    • Sarah Forster
    • Estelle Lahaye
    • Kate McKee

    Client protection is a key tenet of microfinance. This is demonstrated by the extraordinarily large number of organizations that are endorsing the Client Protection Principles—a set of global principles aimed at ensuring microfinance clients are treated fairly and responsibly and do not become over-indebted. Although the Client Protection Principles are widely agreed upon, deeper implementation of the principles and ways of monitoring them, both at the microfinance institution (MFI) and […]

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    Too Much Microcredit? A Survey of the Evidence on Over-Indebtedness

    24 Apr 2014
    • Jessica Schicks
    • Richard Rosenberg

    Microcredit has long had an enviable repayment record—levels of delinquency and default have been very low. But more recently, collection problems have appeared in some major markets.In a review of four countries, Chen, Rasmussen,and Reille (2010) reported that delinquent loans,which averaged 2 percent of portfolio in 2004,skyrocketed to 2009 levels of 7 percent in Bosnia–Herzogovina, 10 percent in Morocco, 12 percent in Nicaragua, and 13 percent in Pakistan. In some […]

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    Best Practices and Recommendations on Financial Consumer Protection

    24 Apr 2014

      In the last fifteen years, financial systems in the Americas have experienced substantial regulatory and institutional changes as a result of periods of crisis. These changes reflect financial sector authorities and regulators ´ search for sustained economic growth in the region, under stable financial conditions and having removed barriers for the adequate provision of financial services. In this regard, the provision of financial services has become a priority in various […]

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      Microfinance and Mobile Banking: Blurring the Lines?

      27 Aug 2013
      • Michel Hanouch
      • Sarah Rotman

      In January 2012 a new banking business was about to emerge in the Philippines. After being in the wholesale microfinance lending business for two years, BanKO (which is licensed as a savings and thrift bank) was ready to jump into retail microfinance by using the mobile phone as its main channel. With years of experience at Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Teresita Tan knew all […]

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      Financial Education Programs and Strategies: Approaches and Available Resources

      06 Mar 2013

        The global financial crisis highlighted the importance of financial literacy and capability, because the lack of consumer knowledge played a role in the genesis of the crisis. To become more active and confident participants in the financial sector, consumers need awareness, understanding, and knowledge about various types of rapidly evolving financial products and services and associated risks, such as fraud and over-indebtedness. As the variety and complexity of financial products […]

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