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MFR provides client protection technical assistance to National Bank of Tajikistan

MicroFinanza Rating, jointly with Armenian legal and regulatory compliance consultants, is assisting the National Bank of Tajikistan in strengthening its financial consumer protection regulations. Funded by the World Bank Group, the Technical Assistance seeks to support reforms to the local frameworks for supervision of responsible market conduct based on best practices. Specifically, MFR is providing the National Bank's newly established Financial Consumer Protection Department with its regional as well as global expertise in consumer protection regulation that draws upon an international consensus emerging around the SMART Client Protection Principles.

AFK Mikrofinanca is the first Kosovan MFI certified in Client Protection

MicroFinanza Rating, Client Protection Certifier licensed by the SMART Campaign, is glad to announce that AFK Mikrofinanca is the first MFI in Kosovo to be certified in Client Protection. AFK has demonstrated to accomplish with all the Certification standards derived from the seven client protection principles.

For more information on the institution, please visit their website.

MFR at European Microfinance Week, 18th - 20th November, Luxembourg

MFR will participate in the annual European Microfinance Week in Luxembourg  (18th-20th November) and will be represented by Aldo Moauro, Executive Director, and Lucia Spaggiari, Social Rating Director. The conference is aimed at promoting best practices and cooperation among European microfinance actors, while also trying to find solutions to global microfinance challenges.

On November 18th, MFR, a member of the e-MFP Microfinance and Environment Action Group, will share the green index methodology used in social ratings, related findings, and relevant case studies as part of the “Training on Environmental Performance.”

On November 19th, MFR, a member of the SPTF Outcomes Working Group, will present about the experience of developing an impact measurement system for housing microfinance in the panel on “Assessing impact in microfinance: new perspectives.”

For more information, please visit the European Microfinance Week webpage.

MFR contributes to pilot new draft client protection standards. Get involved!

Back in 2012, MFR contributed to the definition of the Smart Campaign certification standards by conducting the first Certification pilots of Mi-Bospo and Partner in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Three years later, the constructing liaison with the Smart Campaigns continues with two more pilots Certification in South Asia and ECA using the draft Certification standards 2.0.
As back in 2012, MFR is glad to contribute to strengthen and update the standards and indicators.
The new Certification standards 2.0 streamline the previous one and reflect the evolving financial inclusion industry by including client risks related to insurance, saving and digital services.
Standards are open for public comment till November 30, 2015. The Smart Campaign invites all stakeholders to offer comment via survey or email by using the excel-based draft of the standards.
The final version will be released in January 2016 and will come into effect and become the basis for certification as of June 2016. Get involved!

MicroFinanza Rating at the Emilbanca Annual Conference, 3rd of November, Bologna

MFR Executive Director Aldo Moauro will be participating in the conference, organized by Emilbanca in partnership with Impronta Etica, “L'impresa di ricostruire fiducia. Trasparenza e regole per un mercato orientato al benessere”. Have a look at the event here.

Emil Banca has been the first Italian bank to receive a social rating by MFR and has been awarded with a high A-. See the news here.

The conference, taking place in Bologna on Tuesday, November 3, will be an opportunity to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the cooperative bank. Its purpose is to promote a discussion between stakeholders (citizens, companies, Public administration, European institutions, scholars) about transparency in companies’ activities and confidence between individuals and financial institutions.

For more information, please visit the Emil Banca webpage.

European Commission has launched EaSI-MicPro

We are pleased to announce that the European Commission (EC) has launched a new online platform, called EaSI-MicPro. Its aim is (i) to help micro-entrepreneurs to access information on microcredit providers in their country or region more easily, (ii) to allow microcredit providers present information as required by the Code of Good Conduct, (iii) to allow investors and funders to receive assurance that a particular microcredit provider operates with transparent and pan-European reporting standards.

All microcredit providers are encouraged to publish information there according to those indicators required by the EU Code of Good Conduct. Have a look at the platform here.

MicroFinanza Rating is the leader of the international three-party consortium in charge of the official compliance evaluation of the European Code of Good Conduct, under the framework of the EaSI Technical Assistance.

EC plans to test the external evaluation process of compliance with the Code at the end of this year, in advance of a subsequent full-scale evaluation. Institutions which have already signed up to the Code will be informed directly when external evaluation will be available. To find out more about the Code and evaluation process please visit the website.

Renewed partnership with Opportunity International on CPC and rating services

Microfinanza Rating (MFR) is glad to announce the renewal of its partnership with Opportunity International (OI), aimed at promoting best practices across the OI's network through SMART's Certifications and Ratings. MFR and OI signed a first Memorandum of Understanding at the end of 2013, which resulted in 6 OI affiliates served by MFR to-date. The current agreement intends to replicate this cooperation by reaching new OI's affiliates around the world, while expanding its scope to the pre-Client Protection Certification as well.

In the words of Mr Scott, Global Impact Director, Opportunity International Australia:

"I am delighted to renew Opportunity’s collaboration with MicroFinanza Rating. At Opportunity we are committed to promoting best practices in social microfinance across our network. We know the value that third-party assessments – including institutional and social ratings – can bring to our partners, and appreciate the expert support of the MFR team. With this agreement, we will see further improvements in practices, and more Smart Certified, partners across our network. Ultimately, this agreement will benefit our clients who’s welfare is dependent on high-quality, client-focused services that meet their needs."

Calum Scott
Global Impact Director, Opportunity International Australia

Celebrating the First European Microfinance Day!

The European Microfinance Network (EMN) and the Microfinance Centre (MFC) are promoting the first European Microfinance Day on next October the 20th 2015.

It will be an important opportunity to increase awareness on microfinance’s achievements and draw attention to its role in fighting unemployment and promoting social inclusion.

MFR will participate in the main event on October the 19th-20th in Brussels.

For further information, click here

Upcoming missions and events – Quarter 4, 2015

During the upcoming quarter, MFR’s team will be visiting the following countries: Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Peru, Romania, UK, Zambia, among others.

Moreover, we will be participating to the following events:


Follow us on LinkedIn for updates and important news from the microfinance sector.



MicroFinanza Rating and CDC Group for a Client Protection workshop

On July 6th MicroFinanza Rating carried out a Client Protection Workshop for CDC Group in London. As part of the technical committee of SMART Campaign Certification Task Force and Certifier licensed by SMART Campaign to conduct Client Protection Certification, MicroFinanza Rating was invited to train CDC investment teams on how to more effectively integrate the client protection principles into their investment and monitoring process, learning best practices and presenting and discussing specific case studies. Representatives from other European Development Finance institutions also attended, many of which are co-invested with CDC in microfinance institutions in Africa and Asia. MFR was represented by Chiara Pescatori and Joris Crisà, both key experts in client protection.

CDC is the UK's Development Finance Institution (DFI), wholly owned by the UK Government. CDC's mission is to support the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia. CDC's portfolio of investments is valued at £3.4bn (EUR 4.7bn, year end 2014) and includes 1,331 investee businesses. CDC invests in a variety of sectors as well as microfinance, including manufacturing, agribusiness, infrastructure, construction, health and education.

"The training provided valuable insight into how investors can support the institutions they support to ensure their products better serve low-income clients. Hearing first hand examples of good practice and case studies really bought the client protection principles to life and provided us with tools to use in our investment process going forward"

Rebecca Forecast
CDC’s Environmental and Social Responsibility team 

Find more on CDC Group here.

MFR-led consortium launches implementation of EaSI TA

MicroFinanza Rating is pleased to announce that ratings and assessments of European microfinance providers are officially underway. This means the EaSI Technical Assistance has reached implementation stage. The first MIR has been completed last week in Romania. During the last quarter of 2015, several assignments will be executed in Romania, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Hungary and UK.
MicroFinanza Rating will participate in the upcoming MFC Conference (Prague, 4-6 November) to give an overview of the applied methodology.

Finca Azerbaijan is certified in Client Protection

MicroFinanza Rating, Client Protection Certifier licensed by the SMART Campaign, is glad to announce that Finca Azerbaijan has been certified in Client Protection. Finca Azerbaijan has demonstrated to accomplish with all the Certification standards derived from the seven client protection principles.

Finca Azerbaijan was founded in 1998 and today it is the biggest of Finca International's subsidiaries.
It operates through 65 service outlets all over the country, with a total outreach of 145,292 clients and a loan portfolio of $177M. The FI has been certified in the framework of a consortium with Planet Rating and Finca International.
For further details on the exercise, see the "SMART Certification" section of our website.

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