FINCA has long set the standard for client protection in the microfinance industry. We helped develop, and we endorse, the Smart Campaign, a set of principles designed to ensure microfinance institutions practice good ethics and smart business. This pro-client code of conduct calls for:
- Appropriate product design and delivery
- Prevention of over-indebtedness
- Responsible pricing
- Fair and respectful treatment of clients
- Privacy of client data
- Mechanisms for redressing grievances
As a network, FINCA is committed to the promotion of responsible and client-centered finance. In reflection of this aim, we are dedicated to putting the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles (CPPs) into practice and will actively pursue certification with the strategic objective to obtain Smart certification for all subsidiaries over the next five years. FINCA Kyrgyzstan was the first subsidiary to obtain Smart Campaign Certification in December 2014.
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FINCA’s proactive steps towards placing our clients’ needs first vis a vis Smart Certification include: the Client Protection Principles are codified in FINCA’s global policies and in the Subsidiary General Policies Manual; all Subsidiaries endorsed the Smart Campaign and completed Smart self-assessments.
We also actively participate in, and support, MicroFinance Transparency, an industry-wide effort to ensure full transparency in pricing, and the Social Performance Task Force’s Universal Standards, which measure social performance and adherence to mission.
Here are two additional ways in which FINCA protects its customers:
FINCA customers must undergo training before they receive loans. During training, clients learn about credit, how to manage cash flows, how to set aside a portion of their profits for savings, and how to tell whether they have the capacity to expand their businesses.
FINCA conducts rigorous research to better understand our clients and how microfinance is affecting their lives and livelihoods. Research helps confirm that we’re reaching the lowest-income entrepreneurs, and that our products and services meet their needs. It also allows us to adapt our practices to changing markets and customer needs.