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Update on the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India

Published on November 11, 2010

LANCASTER, PA USA & NEW DELHI, INDIA November 10, 2010 – MFTransparency would like to announce that the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India is continuing forward with a heightened sense of responsibility to support the sector in this time of change. In April 2010, the Indian microfinance industry invited MFTransparency to facilitate a transition to transparent microcredit pricing. We believe that now it is more important than ever for industry stakeholders to have accurate, consistent information about prices, and we are firmly committed to disseminating this information in a way that is beneficial to the Indian microfinance market as a whole.

The Transparent Pricing Initiative in India was launched in April 2010 with the goal of promoting transparent pricing and client protection as well as providing data on the true cost of loan products in the Indian microfinance industry. Since the data collection process began in May, 80 microfinance institutions (MFIs) representing the vast majority of the market share have submitted their product pricing data to MFTransparency. The enthusiastic participation of MFIs across the country and goodwill from other industry stakeholders has been instrumental in the steady progress of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India over the past several months.

MFTransparency seeks to play our part in this positive development. We see our role as providing consistent data and financial education for all stakeholders to ensure that the discussion of interest rates in the Indian microfinance market is constructive. We believe that the industry as a whole benefits when stakeholders operate with a knowledge and understanding of the true costs of microloans. Given the sensitive situation in the Indian microfinance market, we also believe it is important for the institutions participating in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India to be aware of their prices relative to the market before they are made public. Respecting the interests of our partners in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India is of equal importance to us as our goal of promoting transparent pricing and client protection in the Indian microfinance market.

Despite the recent turmoil in the Indian microfinance industry, the momentum of the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India has continued, and the commitment that the industry has shown to transparent pricing remains strong. We are moving forward with the data collection and dissemination process as planned. As we finalize the product pricing dataset, each participating MFI will have the opportunity to review and update their prices as well as evaluate them in the context of the market as a whole. All prices will remain confidential until each MFI has undergone this process. We plan to host an industry-wide conference to share insights from the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India and provide training for all industry stakeholders on understanding the dataset and how to apply it for improved transparent pricing and client protection practices. Further details on this event are forthcoming.

MFTransparency would like to thank the sponsors of this project, Citi Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Microfinance Institutions Network and Standard Chartered Bank; our implementing partner ACCESS Development Services; and all the MFIs participating in the Transparent Pricing Initiative in India for their support in moving forward with this important project.

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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 transparent practices and responsibility. Based in the United States, the group has organized transparent pricing efforts in Peru, Bosnia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Kenya, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, India, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Malawi. For more information please visit www.mftransparency.org.  Grameen Bank’s Dr. Mohammad Yunus and Elizabeth Littlefield, former CEO of CGAP, as well as more than 500 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.

For questions relating to this press release please contact:

Jordan Filko
MFTransparency
+1.973.868.8375
[email protected]

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