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Client protection

The industry's growing concern around client protection is an effort to ensure fair, responsible and transparent services for clients

MFC primarily goal is to be industry leaders in good practice microfinance and promote and implement Consumer Protection Standards. We want to be a network of members who are fully compliant with Client Protection  Standards. Therefore we encourage our members: MFI, investors, networks and support organization to sign jointly developed MoU (English, Russian) and lead the improvement process in the sector.

MFC supports the scale-up of good consumer protection practice. We do this through providing technical support to MFIs, promoting good practice and cooperating with other international organizations..

MFC offers external assessments (which include recommendations for improving gaps), distance support (through a desk review of institutional policies and procedures for customer protection standards) as well as trainings. Please contact the MFC to find out more.

Client protection assessment

MFC supports MFIs to improve their client protection systems by using a self-assessment methodology. Financial institutions can use the client protection self-assessment to highlight good practice as well as identify and address weaknesses. Currently there are two methodologies relevant for the ECA region:

Smart Assessment: Developed by the SMART Campaign, this assessment methodology is based on the seven client protection principles. It is applicable to any financial institution. The self assessment tool and instructions for use are available in English and Russian.

Methodology to monitor the implementation of the ‘European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision: Developed by the Community Finance Solutions (University of Salford), this assessment methodology is based on the standards of European Union Code of Good Conduct for microcredit providers. It is applicable to any institution, and MFIs in European Union countries are encouraged to use it. The self assessment tool is available here.

Want to get started with self-assessment, but not sure how? Read key tips we’ve prepared on how to conduct a self-assessment, available in English and Russian.

Learn more about client protection

Read MFI case studies describing concrete tools and practices developed by the SP Fund

The Smart Campaign is a global effort to unite microfinance leaders around a common goal: to keep clients as the driving force of the industry. Learn more about client protection principles, tools and good practice>

In 2012 The European Commission developed European Union Code of Good Conduct for microcredit provider. The purpose of the Code is to neither introduce nor replace existing regulation of microcredit providers, but rather to promote best practice in order to maintain and raise the quality of services provided by the sector in member states. Learn more about the Code and other EU initiatives here

The Social Performance Task Force Resource Centre houses a number of useful examples and tools you can use to improve your social performance management and client protection practices. Find out more here