With the new 2011 Microfinance India report all set to be released in a few months time, ACCESS Development Services has made the 2010 report available online. It can be downloaded free at the link below :
Download Microfinance India – State of the Sector Report 2010
at the link below :
1. Overview—the juggernaut decelerates
2. Self-help group bank linkage programme—in search of leadership and direction
3. Microfinance institutions—moderation dictated by market
4. Investment climate—getting better
5. Microfinance in the global context
6. Savings, investments and pension
7. Policy environment and regulation
8. Technology in microfinance
9. Social performance, transparency and responsible finance
10. Financial inclusion—reasons for hope
11. An agenda for the future
After coping with the uncertainties of the global economic crisis, the microfinance sector, in the last one year, started to settle down again. The sector this year added about 10 million new clients in contrast to the 15 million clients added during the previous year. Against ` 360 billion, the outstanding microfinance loans stood at about Rs 450 billion this year, an increase of Rs 90 billion. The microfinance institutions (MFI) channel was seen to be fast catching up with self-help group bank linkage programme (SBLP), with the latter growing at only about 8 per cent compared to the MFI channel which grew at 18 per cent.
The growth of the sector, during the year, witnessed several crests and troughs—good news interspersed with bad news. A big story that rocked the sector was Professor Sriram’s paper on ‘Commercialization of Microfinance in India’, which highlighted issues of governance standards, ethics and transparency among large MFIs. This widely circulated paper, which was also published in the well-read Economic and Political Weekly, badly damaged the sector’s credibility.
Ironically, it came out at a time when SKS (among the four institutions that were discussed in the paper) was preparing for the sector’s first Initial Public Offer (IPO). Oversubscribed by over 13 times, the IPO was a huge hit, but generated significant debate: Whether IPO’s are the way to go for the sector? Who benefits from the IPO? Should the wealth created be reploughed or repatriated? And questions regarding high and unsustainable valuations, commercialization of the sector,
and so on.
An important worry for the sector has been the growing unease of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), particularly on the issue of governance and high interest rates. Responding to an unveiled threat by the regulator, a few MFIs dropped their interest rates overnight by up to 5 per cent. Does this mean that MFIs have high operating margins? RBI, however has set up a committee to recommend whether bulk loans to Non-banking Financial Company (NBFC) MFIs should be included as priority sector lending.
Meanwhile, to foster interest rate transparency, MFT set up shop in India (and ACCESS feels privileged to house this initiative). On the positive side, some serious efforts were seen to be made to address the issues of client protection as a response to the Kolar crisis of last year, with Mircofinance Institutions Network (MFIN) instituting a Code of Conduct. This time around, hopefully, it will be more than a nice poster on the walls of MFI offices. The year also saw growing awareness on the need for—and significance of—social protection.
Many MFIs have begun to report on Social Performance Management (SPM) to the Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX). The regional skew has shown signs of improvement with more resources flowing to the underserved regions, besides a large number of the bigger MFIs expanding operations in these regions. Greater resolve was demonstrated by RBI to push the agenda of financial inclusion through the banking sector. All banks submitted their plans to RBI, which now will be monitored more effectively.
The business correspondent (BC) guidelines have been further modified incrementally. Several interlocked issues kept the sector in the news throughout the year. All these issues have been captured in great detail in the 2010 ACCESS State of the Sector Report. The fact that no single organization covers all these diverse and scattered but important issues in its report perhaps highlights the value of the Report as a single point reference document.
This is the fifth year of the ACCESS State of the Sector Report, and the third consecutive one with Professor N. Srinivasan as its author. Each year, the Report increasingly establishes itself as the single most important chronicle of the sector. Each year, the Report responds to the sector’s needs, providing rich insights that are both topical and critical.
Source : Microfinance India
Download the report from the Microfinance India website.