>Posted by Laura Galindo
One of the Smart Campaign’s major focuses is to provide institutions with a set of tools they can use to help them strengthen transparent, respectful and prudent financial services to all their clients. The Campaign currently offers tools in English, French and Spanish–all available on the Campaign website. Today, we are we are excited to announce the release of the first batch of tools in Portuguese, made possible with support from the Multilateral Investment Fund. Brazil accounts for an important part of the 700 MFIs that exist in Latin America and the Caribbean which together serve approximately 12.5 million clients. According to the Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment 2011, Brazil is “amongst the best countries in the region for its innovation in agent banking, and has also benefited from strong financial inclusion programmes and reforms in recent years.” With the development and translation of more and more tools into Portuguese, we look forward to focusing and strengthening Client Protection practices in this growing region.
Here is a quick synopsis of some of the newly translated tools and how to get started:
The Collection Guidelines for Financial Service Providers tool addresses collections policies, practices, manuals, and training of field staff. For each of these topics, an institution can compare “good practice” with its own practice, and identify areas for improvement. With this information, institutions can also develop an action plan addressing weaknesses. The Client Welcome Kit is another tool which refers to the set of documents that help new clients understand their full financial obligations, what they can expect from the institution, and what to do if they experience problems along the way. Now, when MFIs need help with individual lending operations to integrate good client protection practices at the intersection points throughout the credit process, the Smart Lending: Client Protection in the Individual Lending Process tool can be used.
Are you ready to begin? The Getting Started Questionnaire helps microfinance institutions investigate client protection practices within their organization. Once an institution has received an introduction to the work of the Campaign and the Client Protection Principles through our website, answering this questionnaire is the next step. We encourage our Brazilian endorsers to take the lead on this important process. Bem-vindo!
Have you read?
The New Client Education Resource Library: Tools for the Microfinance Industry
The Smart Campaign Publishes Example ‘Codes of Ethics’ from MFIs around the World