Thursday, 1 September 2011

Fair interest rates and ethical lending

© CARE/Emilie Bailey

There has been a lot written in recent months about the high interest rates charged by certain microfinance providers. Thankfully, such instances are still relatively rare. Lendwithcare only partners with those microfinance institutions (MFIs) that charge ‘fair’ interest rates, but we go further and also promote an ethical lending policy. This process starts by selecting MFIs that comply with a set of eligibility criteria. Although solid financial performance is among the requirements, paramount importance is given to a strong social development mission including targeting low-income populations who are usually excluded by commercial banks. We check at least once every six months to ensure that partner MFIs continue to meet criteria. CARE also maintains a presence on the Board of some of the MFIs to ensure that social development objectives remain at the fore in institutional decision making.