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Forúm de Líderes Africanos: Acerca da Divulgação de Informação Padronizada do Preçário de Créditos

Published on November 11, 2011

por Hélia Nsthandoca

English

Durante o Forúm de Líderes Africanos para a Transparência de Preços nas Microfinanças, realizado no mês de Outubro em Nairobi, participei numa mesa redonda onde se discutia acerca da padronização da documentação do preçário dos créditos.

Nesta mesa redonda estiveram participantes de alguns países nomeadamente Guiné-Bissau, Liberia, Moçambique e Ruanda, também participou nesta mesa redonda pessoal da UNCDF.

Todos os participantes concordaram que nos países respectivos existiam de certa forma a obrigatoriedade de exposição de forma visível o preçário dos productos de crédito por parte das Intituições de Microfinanças, porém não existe uma linguagem comum ao  divulgar esses preços, e contudo os mecanismos legais da divulgação do preçário nem sempre é eficiente.

Por outra parte discutiu-se bastante acerca do que a informação padronizada deveria conter, um dos pontos  mais controversos foi a inclusão ou não de custos atribuidos a terceiros tais como seguros e impostos, pois se bem que na realidade muitas vezes o proprio cliente paga por estes custos, estes valores cobrados não constituem  fonte de receita para a instituição de Microfinanças, portanto neste aspecto não se chegou a acordo algum acerca de  se estes componentes de custos deveriam ou não ser inclusos nos documentos de divulgação do preçário, pois enquanto que alguns participantes defendiam a sua inclusão outros defendiam a não inclusão,por estes não constituirem fonte de receita para a IMF.

Um aspecto no qual todos participantes desta mesa redonda concordaram foi que existe um grande benefício na divulgação efectiva do preçário, porque contribue a uma maior inclusão pois os clientes podem:

  • Decidir melhor porque eles têm mais opções de escolha ao saber quanto cobra exactamente cada instituição;
  • Notar que os preços irão decrescer devido ao aumento da competição;

E finalmente o sector das Microfinanças vai beneficiar porque vai transmitir aos clientes mais confiança devido a transparência e consequentemente será sustentável porque se fortifica.

 

Discussion at the African Leadership Forum: Standardized Disclosure of Loan Pricing

by Hélia Nsthandoca

During the African Microfinance Pricing Transparency Leadership Forum, held in Nairobi in October, I participated in a roundtable where we discussed the standardization of documentation about the pricing of microloans.

Participants in this roundtable were from several countries including Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mozambique and Rwanda. The discussion included policymakers and regulators, as well as UNCDF staff.

All participants explained that in their countries there are some requirements for pricing disclosure. This is most commonly done as a visible display of the pricing of loan products in microfinance institutions’ (MFIs’) offices. However, in most cases there is no standard language to disseminate this information. Although this disclosure is legally required, without standards its effectiveness is significantly limited.

In addition to ways of communicating prices, we also discussed the contents of disclosure standards in depth. One of the most controversial elements was the question of inclusion or exclusion of costs paid by the MFI to third parties that borrowers are required to pay. Examples of this include insurance and taxes. Although in fact many times the customer pays these costs from their own pocket, these ​​are not a source of revenue for the microfinance institution. For this reason many MFIs and other industry stakeholders believe that microfinance institutions should not be required to disclose these costs along with other pricing elements.

On this point no agreement was reached as to whether these costs should or should not be included in the documents disclosing pricing. While some participants defended their inclusion others maintained the position that since MFIs do not generate revenue from these charges they should not be portrayed in the same light as other pricing elements. MFTransparency’s official position on this question is that all charges paid by clients should be included in loan documents and other pricing disclosure formats. The price should be communicated from the perspective of the borrower not the institution, based on the interpretation of price as all costs involved in accessing credit.

Despite their disagreement about the particular pricing elements to be included, all participants in the discussion were able to agree that on a fundamental level pricing disclosure can contribute to greater financial inclusion for three main reasons:

  • It allows clients to make better decisions about borrowing, based on full knowledge of the prices of loan products.
  • Over time pricing disclosure will facilitate increased competition that will ultimately lead to decreased prices.

Perhaps the greatest underlying argument for pricing disclosure is that it is a valuable component to building confidence in the microfinance industry. If clients can choose products based on prices then they have more confidence in their institutions which increases loyalty, and client loyalty improves institutions’ sustainability, strengthening the sector as a whole.  This was one of many conversations at the African Microfinance Pricing Transparency Leadership Forum to delve into these complex questions and articulate the importance of pricing transparency as part of the overall development of the microfinance industry.


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