Microfinance CEOs Commit to Client Protection, Transparency and Social Performance

At the October 2013 Microfinance Summit Campaign’s  Partnerships Against Poverty Summit  in Manila, Philippines, Freedom from Hunger CEO Steve Hollingworth joined his colleagues on the Microfinance CEO Working Group in issuing a commitment to promote financial services that serve the poor with quality products and services, transparency and client protection.

Together, the eight member organizations—Accion, FINCA, Freedom from Hunger, Grameen Foundation, Opportunity International, Pro Mujer, VisionFund International and Women’s World Banking—represent more than 250 microfinance institutions in 70 countries and provide financial and non-financial services to more than 40 million families.

Along with the other members of the Microfinance CEO Working Group, Freedom from Hunger will be working with its partners to support the following six commitments to responsible and effective microfinance practice:

1. Client Protection. Encourage all of our partners to commit to and demonstrate adequate client protection practices and to be on the path to Smart Campaign certification  by the end of 2014.

2. Pricing Transparency. Motivate our partners to commit to pricing transparency and integrity by agreeing to publish their pricing data using standard methodologies, such as those developed by MicroFinance Transparency, so that investors and clients can make informed decisions.

3. Social Performance. Promote the Social Performance Task Force’s Universal Standards for Social Performance Management among our partners. Work with them to strengthen their practices in reaching the poor, serving them with high-quality products and services that meet their needs and monitoring their progress over time to ensure their social goals are being achieved.

4. Outcomes. Share Freedom from Hunger’s client outcome research with members and the industry and encourage our partners to report on client outcomes relevant to their goals and objectives.

5. Global Appeal. Encourage our partners to sign the Global Appeal for Responsible Microfinance as an symbol of their commitment to financial inclusion and to responsible microfinance.

6. Investors. Encourage our partners’ equity/debt investors to promote the same five commitments listed above.

Freedom from Hunger looks forward to working with its socially oriented partners to demonstrate our long-term commitment to serving the very poor with high-quality services and to helping alleviate and reduce poverty and hunger. We are excited about this joint commitment of the Microfinance CEO Working Group member organizations because of the positive impact it could have on the microfinance sector worldwide.

For more on the Microfinance CEO Working Group, a collaborative effort to support the positive development of the microfinance industry, click here.

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