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MFTransparency Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Published on July 28, 2013
Bali panel, 950x600-2 (2)

Chuck Waterfield at the MicroCredit Summit in Bali, Indonesia in 2008.

LANCASTER, PA USA, July 28th, 2013 – MicroFinance Transparency (MFTransparency), the microfinance industry leader in pricing transparency, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its founding on July 28th 2008 at the MicroCredit Summit in Bali, Indonesia, with a series of activities over the course of the month of August. Each week of the month of August will be dedicated to featuring some of our most prominent work and activities.

The theme of the first week (July 29th – Aug.2nd) will be to highlight the new pricing data pages on the MFTransparency website.  This section of the website was redesigned and published, earlier this year, to display pricing data in a more functional and user-friendly way. In addition, new information, on the country and institution levels, has been included, as well as interactive pricing graphs that can be custom-filtered for different data points.

During the second week of the month (Aug. 5t – 9th) MFTransparency shall be “unveiling” the groundbreaking Truth in Lending Tables (TILT) for the first time. This new data base and analytical tool contains multi-year pricing data for hundreds of institutions and will enable multi-dimensional analysis to better understand correlations between pricing and other loan term factors such as loan term, loan use, etc. as well as track changes in pricing over time through trend data available for a range of countries. MFTransparency will be releasing a basic version of the dataset, which is due for launch in its full version format later this year.

The third week’s theme (Aug. 12th – 16th) will be the Country Pricing Reports which will be published on the MFTransparency website for the first time.  These cutting-edge reports will provide in-depth analysis of new pricing data, drawing out key themes, features and trends in each country’s microfinance pricing.  These reports are based on data collected via the Transparent Pricing Initiative which has been pivoted through the TILT tool.

Finally, during the fourth week (Aug. 19th – 24th), MFTransparency will be looking in retrospect on accomplishments over the past five years and will be publishing some interesting facts and figures on the organization.

MFTransparency shall be announcing other major initiatives and activities throughout the year that will continue to build on the organization’s leadership in the area of pricing transparency for the microfinance industry.

On the occasion of the fifth anniversary, Chuck Waterfield, MFTransparency’s CEO said “MFTransparency is leveraging the occasion of its fifth anniversary to celebrate its accomplishments and assess the impact which the organization has had on the microfinance industry over the past period as we set forth new strategic directions that get us closer to our vision of a microfinance industry operating with healthy free market conditions where consumers and other stakeholders can make informed decisions.”

MFTransparency Board President, Tony Sheldon, noted, “The industry has come a long way in the last five years, from very poor understanding and very limited disclosure of true prices, to an appreciation of the complexities inherent in loan prices and an emerging standard of full disclosure. MFTransparency, and the industry as a whole, still has a long way to go before achieving full pricing transparency – and we look forward to continuing to work with our myriad partners to advance this goal.”

MFTransparency was founded 5 years ago by Chuck Waterfield to address the lack of transparency on microfinance product pricing which has both hindered and damaged the public image of the microfinance industry; distorting competitiveness and misleading poor entrepreneurs. Since its founding, MFTransparency has established itself as a leader in pricing transparency in the microfinance industry and continues to be the only initiative of its type addressing this issue at depth.  Over the past five years MFTransparency has collected, analyzed, and disclosed microloan pricing data from over 500 microfinance institutions around the world on loans going to more than 48 million clients. The organization has produced and disseminated educational materials and tools to a vast range of stakeholders and has trained hundreds of representatives from microfinance institutions, meso-level support organizations, investment companies, donor agencies, and regulatory bodies at workshops and conferences around the world.

MFTransparency extends its appreciation to all of its partners, donors, and especially to all of the MFIs who have supported the organization over the years and helped make microfinance the first industry to practice global voluntary pricing disclosure.

MFTransparency would like to recognize the donors that have supported its various initiatives and activities over the past year; namely, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Deutche Bank, Cordaid, Hivos, ICCO, Master Card Foundation (MCF), Netherlands Platform Microfinance (NPM), and Oxfam Novib.

 

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About MicroFinance Transparency

MicroFinance Transparency (MFTransparency) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 2008 with the purpose of facilitating transparent markets through pricing disclosure, education and policy advisory. MFTransparency represents an industry movement toward transparent practices and responsible microfinance. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in 29 countries on four continents. Grameen Bank’s Dr. Muhammad Yunus and Elizabeth Littlefield, former CEO of CGAP, as well as over 1000 industry professionals and organizations have committed to transparent pricing by endorsing MFTransparency and its initiative. For more information on MFTransparency, its donors, partners, and the MFIs it works with, please visit www.mftransparency.org.

 

For questions relating to this press release please contact:

Ms. Ranya Abdel-Baki

Program Manager, MicroFinance Transparency

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.mftransparency.org

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