Client Protection Legislation should Not Be Punitive to the Industry

> Posted by Center Staff
While visiting India earlier this month, Beth Rhyne participated in an interview with the Indian newspaper, The Financial Express. The interview focused on the importance and state of client protection within the microfinance industry in India.
The interview begins as follows:
Financial Express: Why do we need a code for client protection in microfinance?
Rhyne: One of the starting points of the problems facing the industry was its rapid growth, leading to slippage in some of the standards. When you grow very fast, you can’t keep training staff fast enough to maintain the level of quality needed.
The Smart Campaign is about keeping the standard really high so that clients are protected. It focuses on seven client protection principles, such as transparency, responsible pricing, appropriate product design, delivery and collections practices, prevention of over-indebtedness, privacy of client data, fair and respectful treatment of clients and complaint resolution. It is a sort of a consumer bill of rights for the industry. It has 2,500 endorsers globally, including almost all of the largest microfinance institutions in the world.
To read the entire interview on Financial Express, click here.
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