IFC to Finance the Smart Campaign’s Microfinance Client Protection Initiatives in India$350,000 grant will fund training, on-site assessments, and tools to foster adherence to Client Protection Principles at leading Indian MFIs.
Washington, DC, October 25, 2011 — The Smart Campaign, a global initiative to incorporate strong client protection principles across the microfinance industry, received a grant of US$350,000 from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to help Indian MFIs incorporate client protection practices into their operations. The Campaign will work with Indian MFIs to develop the tools and resources they need to deliver transparent and prudent financial services to all clients. The grant will fund training sessions, on-site assessments and tools to institutionalize adherence to the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles, which include: (1) appropriate product design and delivery, (2) prevention of over-indebtedness, (3) transparency, (4) responsible pricing, (5) fair and respectful treatment of clients, (6) privacy of client data, and (7) mechanisms for complaint resolution.The work will be carried out in a number of ways:
Isabelle Barrès, Director of The Smart Campaign, commented, “Having won broad industry adherence to the Client Protection Principles over the past two years, the Smart Campaign is focused in 2011 and 2012 on improving adherence through assessment, training and development of tools that can help MFIs improve their practices. The IFC grant will help to jump-start these concrete steps to improve client protection on the ground in India, the world’s largest microfinance market.”
About the Smart Campaign
The Smart Campaign is a global campaign consisting of microfinance leaders from around the world who believe that protecting clients is not only the right thing to do but the smart thing to do. To date, over 2,261 microfinance and other financial institutions, microfinance support organizations, investors, donors, and individual industry professionals have pledged adherence to the Smart Campaign’s core Client Protection Principles. By providing microfinance institutions with the tools and resources they need to deliver transparent, respectful and prudent financial services to all clients, the Smart Campaign is helping the industry maintain a dual focus on improving clients’ lives while attaining financial sustainability. The Campaign is headquartered at the Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at ACCION International and is governed by a Steering Committee representing a broad cross-section of the industry.About IFCIFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is an international organization whose mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC provides advisory services by establishing partnerships with donors, governments and the private sector to design and deliver technical assistance programs that promote entrepreneurship, improve the investment climate, mobilize private sector investment and enhance the competitiveness of micro, small and medium enterprises. IFC, through its Access to Finance business line promotes projects in microfinance, e-banking, affordable housing finance, leasing, small and medium enterprise (“SME”) finance, agriculture finance, sustainable energy finance, trade finance, insurance, payment systems, credit bureaus and capital markets in South Asia.
# # #Contact:Charlotte ConnorsManager, Operations and Communications The Smart CampaignTel. +1 202-393-5113 ext firstname.lastname@example.org