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Transparent Pricing Initiative in India – 50 MFI Participants To Date

Published on July 8, 2010

LANCASTER, PA, USA & NEW DELHI, INDIA, July 8, 2010 – To date, more than 50 institutions in India have participated in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India by submitting microloan product information and pricing data. These MFIs have demonstrated their commitment to transparency and are listed on the India page of the MFTransparency website, available at:

http://www.mftransparency.org/pages/transparent-pricing-initiative-in-india/. Equitas MicroFinance India has played a leadership role in this Initiative as the first microfinance institution in India to submit data to MFTransparency.

MFTransparency launched the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India in April 2010 with widespread support from a range of industry actors. The Indian microfinance market has shown a strong commitment to developing an enabling environment for transparent pricing. Working in partnership with ACCESS Development Services, MFTransparency began the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India with a series of training workshops in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata. These workshops were attended by many industry leaders and provided participants with training on issues related to transparency and consumer protection. Facilitating dialogue among industry stakeholders and putting the Indian microfinance market in the media spotlight, this workshop series launched the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India with a momentum that has continued since with ongoing support from industry partners.

MFTransparency awards transparency certification to all MFIs who submit data and commit to educating their clients on pricing. This consists of both a certificate to be displayed in the MFI’s offices as well as a seal of transparency logo to be used on the MFI’s marketing materials and website. For those institutions who submitted data by the first deadline of June 15, 2010, MFTransparency will be contacting their existing donors listed in the data submission to inform them that their partner MFIs are committed to transparency and consumer protection. In addition, the first forty institutions to submit data will receive special recognition at the official data launch.

During the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India, MFTransparency will collect data on interest and fees charged on microfinance loan products in India in order to calculate their accurate, true prices (Effective Interest Rates). MFTransparency will post that data for the public to see and learn from on its website (www.mftransparency.org).   As part of the Initiative in India, MFTransparency will continue to conduct training seminars for MFIs, bankers, apex bodies and government officials which will provide participants with training on the pricing curve for microfinance loans and generate discussion on the potential impact of various regulations on client protection and access to finance for the very poor. In addition, MFTransparency will develop and disseminate training materials for MFIs, donors, investors, regulators and government officials. Each set of materials will aim to address issues related to pricing transparency, tailored to the specific needs of each stakeholder group.

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About MFTransparency

MicroFinance Transparency is an international non-governmental organization founded in 2008 with the purpose of facilitating transparent markets through the dissemination of true cost information to all market stakeholders. MFTransparency represents an industry movement toward fair practices and responsibility. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in Bosnia, Peru, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Bolivia and India. For more information please visit www.mftransparency.org.  Grameen Bank’s Dr. Mohammad Yunus and Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO of CGAP, as well as more than 400 industry professionals and organizations have committed to transparent pricing by endorsing MFTransparency and its initiative. For information on MFTransparency staff, please see Who We Are.

About ACCESS-ASSIST

ACCESS-ASSIST (Advisory and Support Services for Institutional Strengthening) is a specialised affiliate of ACCESS Development Services, registered as a Public Charitable Trust under the Indian Trust Act, 1882. ACCESS is a not for profit company that offers technical assistance under two verticals – microfinance and livelihoods. Within microfinance, ACCESS has been instrumental in assisting the growing sector through streamlined and structured services to emerging MFIs and CBOs and supports the enabling environment through the Microfinance India Platform. ASSIST has been institutionalised in order to intensify the efforts towards bridging the demand and supply gap faced by small institutions and also to make an impact through contributing to initiatives for addressing other emerging concerns in the sector.

 

For more information regarding the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India,

Please write to: [email protected]

 

For questions relating to this press release please contact:

Jordan Filko

MFTransparency

+31.68.416.4262

[email protected]

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