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MIF supports development of Client Protection certification by the Smart Campaign

Jan 24, 2013

The Multilateral Investment Fund, member of the IDB Group, supports the development of a newly developed Client Protection certification process launched on January 24, 2013 by the Smart Campaign. The Certification Program will enable financial institutions worldwide to demonstrate their adherence to core Client Protection Principles as verified by third parties. 

The protection of clients of microcredits and responsible finance has been a major priority for the MIF. As part of its microfinance program, it has supported the Smart Campaign to help understand the landscape of client protection in Latin American microfinance and lay the foundation for meaningful, long-term changes in the industry. The MIF is currently supporting assessments, piloted action plans by microfinance institutions for improving policies and practices, testing certification and supporting the translation into Spanish and Portuguese of tools to support institutions on the path toward certification.

Responsible finance has been a priority for Latin America. According to the 2012 Global Microscope, evaluating the environment of the microfinance industry in 55 countries worldwide, the industry in the region has seen a clear commitment to address responsible finance and client protection. Latin America showed progress and global leadership in areas such as price transparency, dispute resolution and quality of credit bureaus. 

The Smart Campaign, housed at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion International, has been working with the microfinance industry to develop a Client Protection Certification Program since 2010.

The MIF will continue to be a major partner with the Smart Campaign and the Certification program in -supporting MFIs to improve their client protection practices through tools and implementation plans, developing more robust guidelines and refining the certification process. 

Since its creation in the early 1990s, MIF has been a leader among other multilateral and bilateral development financial institutions in supporting the growth and development of the microfinance sector in Latin America and the Caribbean and is recognized as principal funding source for promoting innovation and sound practices in microfinance. MIF is advancing microfinance transparency and responsible finance through the refinement, piloting and adoption of industry leading tools -in partnership with key players - and is taking special care to promote cost-effective methodologies, concentrating primarily its efforts in transparency, corporate governance and client protection.

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), funded by 39 donors, supports private sector-led development benefitting low-income populations and the poor - their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them the tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory - experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks in order to build and support successful micro and SME business models. More information at www.fomin.org  

The Smart Campaign

The Smart Campaign is a global campaign to embed a set of client protection principles deep within the microfinance industry. It is governed by a Steering Committee representing a broad cross-section of the industry and is housed at the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion International. By providing microfinance institutions with the tools and resources they need to deliver transparency, respectful and prudent financial services to all clients, the Smart Campaign is helping the industry maintain its commitment to treating clients fairly. More information on the Client Protection Certification Program can be found here.


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