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26me Midi de

la microfinance

www.stockvault.com
Dossier thmatique

Taux dintrts en microfinance :


abus ou ncessit ?
Une confrence organise par ADA et BRS le jeudi 10 octobre
Luxembourg et le vendredi 11 octobre Bruxelles.
Marek Hudon, professeur la Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management et co-directeur
du Centre Europen de Recherche en Microfinance (CERMi)
et
Aldo Moauro, membre fondateur et Directeur excutif de MicroFinanza Rating
Midi de la microfinance 1

Sommaire

Introduction
Taux dintrt en microfinance : abus ou ncessit ? 3

Documents cls
Pour des taux dintrts justes et transparents en microfinance,
Zoom microfinance n 35, SOS Faim, mars 2012 4

Are Microcredit Interest rates excessive? CGAP Brief, February 2009 12

Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011,


Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013 16

Microcrdit : comment faire baisser des taux dintrt trop levs ?


Jrmy Hajdenberg, janvier 2007 25

Price Graphs, Transparent Pricing Initiative, MFTransparency, 2013 27

Annexes
Intervenants 33

Partenaires Luxembourg 34

Partenaires Bruxelles 36

ADA | Inclusive Finance. Increasing Autonomy. Improving Lives. 39

BRS, Solidarity-based banking and insurance in the Developing World 40


Midi de la microfinance 3

Introduction

Pourquoi les institutions de microfinance (IMF) imposent- elles des taux


dintrt aussi levs aux pauvres ? Les taux dintrt du microcrdit
sont tablis de faon permettre loffre de services financiers durables,
long terme et grande chelle. Les IMF se doivent dutiliser des taux
dintrt leur permettant de couvrir leurs cots administratifs, le cot du
capital, y compris le cot de linflation, les pertes sur crances et une
augmentation de leurs fonds propres. Les IMF qui ne respectent pas cette
rgle ne peuvent fonctionner que pendant un certain temps, ne servent
quune clientle restreinte et privilgient la plupart du temps les objectifs
fixs par un bailleur de fonds ou par un gouvernement, plutt que les
besoins de leurs clients. Seules les IMF viables sont en mesure de fournir
un accs permanent aux services financiers aux centaines de millions de
personnes qui en ont besoin. Bien que les taux dintrt des institutions
de microcrdit puissent atteindre un niveau lev de faon lgitime, il
peut arriver que linefficacit de leurs oprations les gonfle indment.
mesure que le march du microcrdit parvient maturit dans un pays ou
une rgion donns, les bailleurs de fonds, notamment, devraient accorder
Felix Sorger

une plus grande attention aux moyens de rduire les cots dexploitation
pour garantir le plus haut degr defficacit et de comptitivit des taux
dintrt.

Extrait de Note sur la Microfinance n 6 Explication raisonne des


taux dintrts utiliss pour le microcrdit

Ruth P. Goodwin-Groen, participation du bureau du CGAP

Introduction - Taux dintrt en microfinance : abus ou ncessit ?


4 Midi de la microfinance

mars 2012 n 35

Zoom microfinance
Pour des taux dintrts justes et transparents
en micro finance

La construction du taux dintrt

Que faire pour offrir le taux


le plus raisonnable possible ?

Accder au service
est le plus important

Faut-il plafonner les taux ?

Des taux transparents !

SOS Faim-M.Lefebvre

Des contraintes spcifiques


en milieu rural Les outils dun agent de crdit chez Buusaa Gonofaa, en thiopie.

La question des taux dintrts sur les crdits reste centrale dans lindus-
trie de la micro finance. Elle continue susciter dbats et polmiques,
alors que le taux dintrt constitue la majeure partie du prix pay par un
client pour accder un service financier se voulant accessible et adapt
une population aux faibles ressources.
La ncessit dun taux dintrt acceptable (adapt la rentabilit de lactivit
qui sera ralise) et transparent a t renforce par larrive au premier plan du
thme de la protection des clients en micro finance. Cette thmatique a merg
suite aux diffrentes crises1 vcues par le secteur dans des pays aussi diffrents
que la Bolivie, le Nicaragua, lInde, le Maroc ou encore le Bnin. Ces crises ont
souvent t lies une saturation dune partie du march et des mcanismes
de surendettement et de cavalerie financire .
Mais au fait, quest ce qui justifie le tarif du taux dintrt demand par une
institution de micro finance ?
1 : Voir larticle Au-del de la crise , Dfis Sud 102, pages 7-9.

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Midi de la microfinance 5

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2

Les cots lis au fait de disposer des fonds prts


(pargne, refinancements nationaux ou internation-
La construction aux) ne sont matrisables que dans une certaine mesure.
du taux dintrt Il existe en effet et de plus en plus - un march
dans le domaine du refinancement. Le choix de recourir
lpargne nest pas possible dans tous les cas de figure
Le taux dintrt consiste en un service, le meilleur (en fonction de la rglementation et du statut de lIMF).
possible, pour lequel diffrents types de cots sont en- Nous y reviendrons plus loin. Selon Micro Finance Hub, le
courus par lIMF. Ces cots, selon leur nature, sont plus cot des fonds prts intervient pour 23 % dans le taux
ou moins matrisables : dintrt demand ;
les cots oprationnels (les frais de fonctionnement Enfin, la prise en compte de linflation chappe lIMF.
et les frais de personnel) dpendent en grande partie Comme on le constate, le taux offert est gnralement
des choix de lIMF (de manire gnrale, ce quon peut le rsultat de tensions entre un triangle dacteurs qui
qualifier de train de vie de lIMF). Ces frais gnraux ont des intrts priori divergents : les clients qui veu-
se situent le plus souvent dans une fourchette de 10 lent le meilleur service au moindre cot, les salaris qui
25 %. Cest le facteur de cot qui pse en moyenne le veulent une rmunration attractive et les dtenteurs
plus lourd dans la fixation du taux : 62 % (source Micro de capital qui souhaitent un bnfice intressant. On
Finance Hub2). LIMF se doit dtre efficiente tout en of- notera que dans certaines IMF, par exemple les coop-
frant des conditions attrayantes ses employs ; ratives, une mme personne peut se retrouver dans
plusieurs de ces catgories dacteurs.
les cots lis aux pertes sur crdits sont galement
relativement matrisables (sauf dans des cas de dgra-
dation gnralise du contexte). De prfrence, ce taux
doit osciller entre 1 % et 2 % dans une entit financire
performante ; Que faire pour offrir
les marges prises sur lopration (la prise de bn- le taux le plus raisonnable
fices) sont galement grables par lIMF et sont le reflet
dun choix qui finalement est politique : il est intres- possible ?
sant de voir o vont les marges, surtout dans le contexte
de dveloppement dans lequel la micro finance pr- Selon E. Parent (Proparco)3, quatre leviers sont envisager :
tend sinscrire. Il ne sagit pas ici de condamner toute
dmarche de gnration de bnfices. En effet, ceux- Une bonne rentabilisation des ressources disponi-
ci permettent galement de capitaliser bles : en dautres termes, il faut quau minimum 70 %
linstitution et dinvestir dans de nou- du total du bilan soit affect aux op-
velles dmarches comme une extension rations de crdits qui sont le cur de
de la couverture gographique ou encore mtier de lIMF ;
la mise au point de nouveaux produits. Les 10 % Une qualit correcte du portefeuille
Nanmoins, certains chiffres interpel- des IMF les plus rentables de crdits : un portefeuille risque
lent ! Les dix pourcent des IMF les plus ont un rendement moyen 30 jours de maximum 3 %.
rentables ont un rendement moyen annuel sur leur
annuel sur leur capital de 34 %. LIMF Une rduction maximale du cot des
capital de
mexicaine Compartamos avait quant ressources, notamment en privilgiant
34 % les dpts (moins chers que le refi-
elle un rendement sur son capital de
56 %. Pour ce faire, elle facturait ses nancement) et en optimisant leffet de
levier dettes/capital .
clients un taux dintrt annuel effectif
de 85 % Si elle avait opt pour un ren- Une matrise des charges dexploitation
dement sur le capital plus raisonnable (mais nanmoins par une organisation efficiente.
non ngligeable) de 15 %, le taux dintrt factur aux
clients aurait pu descendre de 85 % 56 % !

3 : lodie Parent Proparco : Entre taux dintrt raisonnable et


2 : Site internet de Microfinance Hub : http://microfinancehub.com. 10 rentabilit suffisante, quel quilibre pour les IMF in Secteur priv et
determinants of interest rates in microfinance. dveloppement ; septembre 2009.

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6 Midi de la microfinance

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SOS Faim-A.Kennes
Laccs au crdit pour les femmes rurales pruviennes est une condition de leur indpendance.

Nous avons demand leur point de vue une vingtaine de tante : il ne faut en effet pas rduire la micro finance au
praticiens de la micro finance sur le sujet. Les rponses micro crdit. Mais galement celui de disposer de res-
reues recoupent les pistes proposes par Proparco : sources stables, mme dans les cas les plus frquents o
lpargne est dpose vue.
La limitation des frais oprationnels
La limitation des frais oprationnels qui psent le plus Harbu (thiopie) cre comme IMF oriente vers le
lourd dans la dfinition du taux compte parmi les so- crdit, a pris conscience de limportance de lpargne :
lutions avances en premier lieu, avec diffrentes non seulement, elle constitue une source relativement
modalits concrtes proposes : peu coteuse de ressources pour les octrois de crdit
mais elle reprsente galement une assurance pour
la professionnalisation du staff et des dirigeants ; lIMF. Les bons pargnants sont gnralement des cli-
la mthodologie du crdit : un processus doctroi ents plus srieux ! Cette volution ne sest pas ralise
qui soit le plus transparent possible pour tous les ac- sans mal car elle a demand un changement de men-
teurs, avec une bonne communication avec le client et talit de la part des agents de crdit.
en vitant au maximum les paperasseries inutiles ; Si on recourt au refinancement, un interview argumente
un contrle budgtaire strict et permanent ; lavantage de disposer de garanties pour permettre de
ngocier un taux plus attractif, puisque cela rduit la
un systme dinformation et de gestion efficace per- prise de risque du prteur.
mettant de corriger rapidement une situation.
Le cot de la ressource La limitation des pertes sur crdits
Les rpondants mutualistes ou coopratifs avancent Plusieurs intervenants mettent laccent sur la rapidit
lavantage de recourir aux dpts de leurs membres. de raction que permet un bon systme dinformation
Lpargne (sa collecte et sa rmunration) est en effet et de gestion (SIG). Selon un dirigeant de Kafo Jiginew :
considre comme meilleur march que les autres res- des pertes leves gnrent souvent des frais gn-
sources. Une institution performante peut arriver un raux en hausse ; elles sont rvlatrices de dfaillances
cot de lordre de 4 %. Kafo Jiginew, la principale IMF de gestion et de gouvernance. Chez nous, un suivi quo-
malienne, collecte lpargne de ses membres un cot tidien est ralis chaque matin et permet de tirer la
total qui oscille entre 4,75 et 5 %. Selon les personnes sonnette dalarme si ncessaire, par exemple en met-
interviewes, lpargne prsente dautres avantages. tant laccent sur les recouvrements en ralentissant les
Tout dabord, celui de rpondre une demande impor- octrois .

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Midi de la microfinance 7

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Dans une rcente Focus note du CGAP4, on lit notamment


que les services de micro finance ont tant de valeur aux
Lapproche de Harbu yeux des clients que ceux-ci sont gnralement prts
(thiopie) pour minimiser payer des taux dintrt levs sur les crdits et ac-
cepter un rendement de lpargne minimal ou nul.
ses cots : Il est clair que ce dbat doit tenir compte du poids du
Pour Harbu, la question de la minimisation des cots passe taux dintrts pour lactivit ralise : le taux de renta-
par trois axes, dans lordre de priorit suivant : lamliora- bilit interne dune activit de production agricole nest
tion de la productivit, le contrle des dpenses et la rponse pas du tout comparable avec celui de certaines opra-
la demande des clients. tions de petit commerce ou de micro industrie. Ne pas
Une plus grande productivit passe notamment par des tenir compte de ce paramtre peut produire des effets
incitations pour les agents, un investissement dans leur dsastreux pour le client. En agriculture, comme les
formation, lutilisation de la technologie ou encore la marges sont plus faibles, il faut que lIMF adapte ses
conclusion daccords avec dautres institutions financires taux. Plusieurs moyens sont envisageables : travailler
pour assurer la plus grande proximit possible vis--vis des perte sur le secteur agricole en le faisant subsidier
clients. par les activits en milieu urbain par exemple, ou encore
Le contrle des dpenses est encourag par diffrentes rechercher des ressources adaptes - en dautres
mesures telles que la fidlisation des clients, une culture de termes cot subsidi ce qui pose la question de la
lpargne, la dcentralisation des dcisions au niveau des prennit du service.
agences, le renforcement du contrle interne, une gestion
serre de la trsorerie,
Et enfin, une rponse adapte aux besoins des clients, qui se
traduira notamment par une forte ractivit aux demandes
de crdits (octrois dans un court dlai grce la collecte
Faut-il plafonner les taux ?
des informations essentielles uniquement), des produits
adapts et une dmarche allant vers le client (collecte des La question de lopportunit de fixer un taux dintrt
remboursements et de lpargne dans un lieu central par
exemple les marchs -pour le client).
maximal est une autre facette de cette mme problma-
tique. Selon Gonzalez-Vega5, une telle limitation serait
contre-productive : lobligation de pratiquer de faibles
taux risque de conduire les institutions se concentrer
sur les clients moins nombreux, les plus profitables et
puissants . Par contrecoup ; les institutions vont
augmenter leur crdit moyen pour diminuer leurs cots
et vont donc exclure les plus pauvres.
Une publication du CGAP sur limpact des limitations de
taux dintrt en micro finance6 renchrit sur le mme
sujet : en dpit de bonnes intentions, la fixation de pla-
fonds de taux dintrt est gnralement prjudiciable
Accder au service aux pauvres parce quelle rend la cration dIMF plus
est le plus important difficile et pose problme aux IMF existantes. Dans les
pays o ces plafonds existent, des IMF se retirent du
march, croissent plus lentement, sont moins trans-
En liaison directe avec le dbat sur les taux jugs levs parentes en termes de cots et rduisent leurs activits
en micro finance, on entend souvent largument suivant : en secteur rural ou dans dautres secteurs cot lev.
ce qui importe cest lopportunit daccder au ser- Les pauvres ne sont donc plus servis et retournent vers
vice de crdit plutt que le cot du service en tant que les marchs informels des usuriers. La note cite notam-
tel . Le taux dintrt ne serait-il donc finalement pas
4 : Consultative Group to Assist the Poor Focus note 59 : le micro
si important ? Diffrentes tudes ont dmontr la faible crdit aide-t-il vraiment les pauvres ? Janvier 2010.
lasticit de la demande de crdit par rapport aux taux 5 : C. Gonzalez-Vega : Interest rate restrictions and income distribu-
dintrts. Ce mme argument dopportunit daccs au tion , cit dans Fair interest rates when lending to the poor Ethics
service est galement souvent utilis pour justifier la r- and Economics , Marek Hudon 2007.
munration trs faible des dpts collects. 6 : CGAP Occasional paper n9 Interest rate ceilings and microfi-
nance : the story so far - septembre 2004.

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8 Midi de la microfinance

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ment les cas de lAfrique de louest, du Nicaragua et de


lAfrique du Sud.
Dans lune de ses publications, la Banque Asiatique
de Dveloppement7 recense une autre contrainte au
plafond sur les taux : il encourage non seulement des
crdits plus levs mais aussi plus court terme car
linflation rend les crdits plus long terme plus risqus
dans ce contexte. En outre, le plafonnement peut gon-
fler la demande et crer un march artificiel.
Mais quen pensent les praticiens consults ?
Les avis sont relativement partags entre partisans dun
taux dintrt non limit (avec les arguments relevs
ci-dessus) et partisans dun taux plafonn selon des
mcanismes de sauvegarde pour viter les inconvni-
ents dune limitation pure et dure .
Pour Ciderural (Prou), il est possible quune IMF couvre
des taux dintrts levs parce quelle offre des services
connexes de renforcement des clients ; il se peut gale-
ment que le taux reflte un cot lev des ressources
financires de lIMF. Il faudrait plutt examiner le taux
de rentabilit des IMF et ses cot dopration et voir sils
correspondent la mission de lorganisation et la r-
alit du contexte .
Finrural (Bolivie) estime que la rgulation des taux
devrait prendre en considration quil y a des insti-
tutions diffrentes sur le march, avec des cots

SOS Faim-M.Lefebvre
dopration diffrents, quil est fondamentalement dis-
tinct de servir un client au centre dune ville et dans une
zone rurale, quun client salari na pas le mme profil
de risque quun petit producteur rural, que la technolo-
Les caisses rurales sont encore rarement informatises (ici dans une
caisse des U-BTEC au Burkina Faso).
7 : Nimal A. Fernando Asian Development Bank Understanding and
dealing with high interest rates on microcredit - May 2006. gie de crdit utilise, notamment la garantie demande,
modifie galement le niveau de risque .
Pour le Renaca (Bnin), un plafonnement du taux
dintrt sans accompagnement spcifique (accs
Charges dintrts des ressources moindre cots, subsides pour le
fonctionnement,) pour aider les IMF grer le gap
Un autre aspect intressant de cette question apparat dfavorable ventuel que cela engendrerait, crerait
lorsquon replace les charges dintrts des micro entrepre-
certainement des dsquilibres dont les consquences
neurs dans le contexte global de leurs recettes et de leurs
dpenses. Castello, Stearns et Christen prsentent une peuvent entraver la viabilit, en particulier pour les
analyse de ce genre partir dun chantillon demprun- IMF de petite taille ou celle nayant pas encore atteint
teurs chiliens, colombiens et dominicains. Ces emprunteurs lautosuffisance.
payaient des taux effectifs mensuels relativement levs
(6,3 % par mois en moyenne). Mais leurs charges dintrts
La limitation des taux doit tre dcide (par les au-
ne reprsentaient quune proportion minuscule de leurs torits montaires) dans le but principal dviter plutt
cots (entre 0,4 et 3,4 %). lusure que dans celui dallger les cots aux clients. Une
telle initiative doit en amont se proccuper de la qualit
Extrait de ltude spciale CGAP les taux dintrts appli-
cables aux micro crdits janvier 1997 des ressources (cots dobtention, dure, modalits
de paiement,) utilises par les IMF afin dvaluer les

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Midi de la microfinance 9

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cots y affrents pour fixer un seuil qui nhypothque Finrural (Bolivie) estime que malgr les efforts des
pas la rentabilit des oprations des IMF . organes de rgulation et des IMF elles-mmes, il reste
Le rseau dIMF Alafia (Bnin) revient galement sur la normment faire, vu que le client nest pas en capacit
question des usuriers : puisque le taux dintrt nest de discriminer par exemple entre taux variables et taux
pas un problme pour les clients, il nest donc pas jus- fixes et par consquent, quil ne prend pas cet lment
tifi de limiter les taux dintrt. Il faut cesser de faire en compte au moment de choisir une entit financire. Il
la comparaison des IMF avec les banques commerciales, faut ds lors gnrer des mcanismes dducation finan-
elles ne sont pas sur le mme march, le march des IMF cire permanente orients vers les clients par des entits
est celui des usuriers ; il faut donc com- indpendantes .
parer les IMF aux usuriers, vous verrez Limportance de lducation financire
que la diffrence est nette au niveau des revient dans plusieurs ractions et
taux dintrt. En supprimant les IMF, devient galement une priorit pour de
leur clientle ne se dirigera pas vers les plus en plus dacteurs impliqus dans
banques, mais plutt vers les usuriers. lappui au secteur. Le programme de
Cette comparaison des IMF aux usuriers Lpargne micro finance UE-ACP 2011-2014 en a
se justifie donc. Protger le consom- est considre comme ainsi fait un de ses axes prioritaires.
mateur , nest pas synonyme de limiter meilleur march
que les autres
Le rseau ALAFIA (Bnin) apporte
les taux dintrt. La Smart Campaign galement un clairage sur la forma-
a dit les principes de protection des ressources tion des agents des IMF : Peu dIMF
clients. Lun de ces principes est la sassurent que les clients ont accs
transparence des prix et conditions et des informations exhaustives, dans un
la tarification responsable, obligeant langage clair, qui ne prte pas confu-
les institutions offrir des services de sion et que les clients soient capables
qualit, comptitifs sur le march et de comprendre. La communication sur
bnfiques aux clients. Un march de les prix et conditions nest pas encore
micro finance transparent avec des clients duqus fi- claire et le personnel nest pas suffisamment form pour
nancirement constitue un moyen sr de baisser les taux communiquer efficacement avec tous les clients, afin
dintrt. de garantir que ces derniers comprennent le produit, les
termes du contrat, leurs droits et leurs obligations. Les
techniques de communication utilises ne pallient pas
les limitations lies au niveau dalphabtisation des cli-
Des taux transparents ! ents. Dans la trs grande majorit dIMF, les clients ne
sont pas informs des prix et des conditions de tous les
produits financiers avant que la vente ne soit conclue, y
Cette dernire position nous amne naturellement compris les taux dintrts, les primes dassurance, les
limportance de la question de la transparence des taux. soldes crditeurs minimaux, lensemble des frais, des
Il y a quasiment unanimit dans le panel des institutions pnalits, des produits associs, des frais de tierce par-
contactes pour dire que la transparence reste insuff- tie, et des modifications qui peuvent subvenir au cours
isante et quil faut lamliorer. Les commissions, les taux du temps .
flat , les frais administratifs chargs aux emprunt- La transparence effective des taux est de plus en plus
eurs sont dnoncs par les IMF elles-mmes. Sagit-il vue comme une condition, du moins dans les marchs
dune remise en cause de leurs propres pratiques ou es- comptitifs. Combine avec des mesures de protection
timent-elles plutt que ce sont leurs collgues qui ont et dducation financire des clients, elle est cense
des pratiques discutables ? Il ne nous est pas possible aboutir une relle mise en concurrence qui induirait une
de rpondre cette question. diminution des taux proposs aux emprunteurs. Le mar-
Plusieurs lments dexplication sont avancs : ainsi, Ci- ch de la micro finance devenant ainsi un march comme
derural (Prou) constate que 90 % des clients issus des un autre avec une vision librale du dveloppement.
secteurs dfavoriss nont aucune connaissance finan-
cire de base, ce qui permet de nombreuses IMF de ne
pas tre totalement transparentes vis--vis de leurs cli-
ents, que ce soit volontairement ou involontairement .

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vient 5 cent de dollars alors que la mme opration


au sein dune agence rurale cotera de lordre de 1,5
Des contraintes spcifiques dollars.9 Cette solution bon march au niveau du fonc-
en milieu rural tionnement demande nanmoins des infrastructures
assez chres et peut demander un temps dadaptation
important de la part des utilisateurs.
Cette approche est-elle adapte pour les zones rurales, Larticulation des groupes de producteurs au march
alors que de nombreux observateurs du secteur recon- (assurer des contrats de vente avec un prix ngoci).
naissent que la question de la micro finance rurale
mais surtout agricole- reste un chantier qui ne pro-
gresse pas ou peu? Le thme controvers des subsides
aux taux dintrts semble avoir abouti un large con-
sensus contre toute forme de distorsion du march Conclusion
(pour autant que lon puisse parler de march dans de
nombreux cas). Les pouvoirs publics nont par ailleurs La problmatique des taux dintrts, en particulier
pas de moyens structurels pour financer ce type de dis- pour le monde rural, est un sujet complexe dont il nest
positif, mme sils sont prvus lgalement dans certains pas possible de faire le tour en quelques pages. Il met
cas ! Cest ainsi que larticle 125 de la Loi dOrientation en effet en jeu de nombreux facteurs qui, comme on la
Agricole au Mali dit ceci : des bonifications dintrt vu, sont plus ou moins sous contrle des institutions de
destines intensifier et moderniser lagriculture peu- micro finance. Lobjectif de ce numro
vent tre accordes aux exploitations tait de rappeler la justification dun
agricoles par ltat notamment pour taux dintrt et surtout de permettre
financer lacquisition dquipements, de donner la parole des acteurs du sud
la promotion du dveloppement de sur le sujet.
filires cibles ou de zones de produc-
tions particulires . Il nen demeure pas moins que le trans-
Faible lasticit fert de larges pans de la micro finance
La recherche de solutions en termes vers le secteur commercial (mme
de la demande de crdit
daccs soriente ds lors vers des quand il est thique) a largement
pistes de rduction des cots (de par rapport aux taux
dintrts dvelopp une logique de march qui
manire les traduire dans la tari- se traduit plus ou moins largement dans
fication) qui pourraient rendre le les cots des services financiers propo-
financement abordable, notamment ss aux clients ou membres des IMF.
pour les exploitations paysannes de
type familial orientes sur la produc- La question des taux, en particulier en
tion alimentaire.8 zones rurales, reste un sujet de proc-
cupation, surtout quand on compare
Parmi les pistes les plus souvent le cot la rentabilit de lactivit
envisages, on retiendra : finance. Sans doute la volont de dvelopper des poli-
le modle de distribution du financement peut tiques agricoles volontaristes ( limage de qui a pu se
permettre de diminuer le cot de transaction dans faire dans de nombreux pays du Nord) et de les doter
les zones rurales recules : les groupes solidaires ou de moyens est-elle une piste pour mettre en place des
lintermdiation du financement par les coopratives mcanismes structurels et prennes de financement de
ou organisations paysannes ; lagriculture et de llevage ? dfaut, il est crain-
dre que le financement rural demeurera dune certaine
lorientation de lpargne mobilise dans les zones manire marginal.
rurales vers le crdit la production, en combinaison
avec une assistance technique ;
le recours la technologie : lutilisation de la tl-
phonie mobile apparat ainsi comme une partie de la
solution la question du cot pour desservir les zones
rurales : on estime quune transaction par tlphone re-
8 : Laccs au financement li des cultures dexportation est plus ais 9 : Cit dans Cracking the nut Overcoming obstacles to rural and
et souvent intgr dans la chane de valeur dun produit. agricultural finance Lessons from the 2011 conference

Documents cls Zoom microfinance n 35, SOS Faim, mars 2012


Midi de la microfinance 11

Ce numro de Zoom microfinance a t ralis par Marc Mees, Responsable du Service


Appui Partenaires de SOS Faim, avec la collaboration des partenaires suivants :
Bnin : Alafia, Renaca - Burkina : B-TEC, Prodia - Mali : Kafo Jiginew, Sexagon
Niger : Mooriben - Sngal : PDIF, Fongs-Finrural - RDC : Coopec Mayumbe, Gamf
Cameroun : Nowefoch, MC Bamenda - thiopie : Harbu, SFPI - Prou : Coop. La Florida,
Mide, Ciderural, Coop. Tikari - Bolivie : Finrural, Fincafe, Prorural, Coraca Protal
quateur : Cepesiu
Les derniers numros
de Zoom microfinance
SOS Faim et la microfinance ont concern :
SOS Faim appuie depuis de nombreuses annes des organisations paysannes
en Afrique et en Amrique latine. Comme tout outil de dveloppement, la n 34
microfinance doit tre interroge dans ses finalits, ses modalits et les Le systme dappui aux filires
conditions de sa mise en uvre. Cest dans cet esprit que SOS Faim publie porteuses de lorganisation paysanne
Zoom microfinance. Vous pouvez retrouver cette publication, en version camerounaise Nowefor
tlchargeable, en franais, anglais et espagnol, sur le site Internet de
SOS Faim : www.sosfaim.org n 33
SOS Faim est membre de European Microfinance Platform [e-MFP] Mise en valeur dune production
et de la Table Ronde de la microfinance luxembourgeoise (TRML). paysanne : rle dHarbu Microfinance
dans la filire soja en rgion Oromo
(thiopie)
Paralllement Zoom microfinance, SOS Faim dite Dynamiques paysannes,
une publication consacre aux enjeux rencontrs dans leur dveloppement
par les organisations de producteurs agricoles et les organisations n 32
paysannes. Vous pouvez galement retrouver cette publication en version La banque des paysans,
aux conditions des paysans
tlchargeable en franais, anglais et espagnol, sur le site Internet de
SOS Faim : www.sosfaim.org
n 31
Le Paidek, une IMF rsistante
aux crises

diteur responsable : Freddy Destrait, 4 rue aux Laines, B-1000 Bruxelles (Belgique) n 30
Coordination : Marine Lefebvre Du micro crdit classique une
Graphisme : www.marmelade.be approche solidaire et rgionale :
Zoom Microfinance est imprim sur du papier recycl le cas du programme de dveloppement
intgr de Fatick au Sngal (PDIF)
SOS Faim Agir avec le Sud
4 rue aux Laines, B-1000 Bruxelles (Belgique)
n 29
Tl. 32-(0)2-511.22.38 Fax 32-(0)2-514.47.77
La cooprative Los Andes :
E-mail info.be@sosfaim.org
la finance solidaire pour
SOS Faim Action pour le dveloppement le dveloppement rural

88, rue Victor Hugo L - 4141 Esch-sur-Alzette Luxembourg


Tl. 352-49.09.96 Fax 352-49.09.96.28 n 28
E-mail info-luxembourg@sosfaim.org Garantir des refinancements :
des risques calculs en faveur des
Site internetwww.sosfaim.org petits producteurs ruraux
Zoom microfinance est ralis avec le soutien de la Direction gnrale de la Coopration
internationale de Belgique et du Ministre des Affaires trangres luxembourgeois.

Documents cls Zoom microfinance n 35, SOS Faim, mars 2012


12 Midi de la microfinance

Are Microcredit Interest


BRIEF
Rates Excessive?
Over the past two decades, institutions that make microloans to low-income borrowers
in developing and transition economies have focused increasingly on making their
operations financially sustainable by charging interest rates that are high enough to cover
all their costs. They argue that doing so will best ensure the permanence and expansion
of the services they provide. Sustainable (i.e., profitable) microfinance providers can
continue to serve their clients without needing ongoing infusions of subsidies, and can
fund exponential growth of services for new clients by tapping commercial sources,
including deposits from the public.

The problem is that administrative costs are Nevertheless, accepting the importance of
inevitably higher for tiny microlending than financial sustainability does not end the discussion
for normal bank lending. For instance, lending of interest rates. An interest charge represents
$100,000 in 1,000 loans of $100 each will money taken out of clients pockets, and it is
obviously require a lot more in staff salaries than unreasonable if it not only covers the costs of
making a single loan of $100,000. Consequently, lending but also deposits excessive profits
interest rates in sustainable microfinance into the pockets of an MFIs private owners.
institutions (MFIs) have to be higher than the Even an interest rate that only covers costs and
rates charged on normal bank loans. includes no profit can still be unreasonable if the
costs are excessively high because of avoidable
As a result, MFIs that claim to be helping poor inefficiencies.
people nevertheless charge them interest rates
that are substantially higher than the rates richer High microloan interest rates have been criticized
borrowers pay at banks. No wonder this seems since the beginning of the modern microfinance
wrong to observers who do not understand, movement in the late 1970s. But the criticism
or do not agree with, the argument that has intensified in the past few years, and
MFIs can usually serve their poor customers legislated interest rate caps are being discussed
best by operating sustainably, rather than by in a growing number of countries. Part of the
generating losses that require constant infusions reason for the increased concern about rates is
of subsidies. simply that microfinance is drawing ever more
public attention, including political attention.
In todays microfinance industry, there is still Another factor is that quite a few MFIs are now
some debate about whether and when long- being transformed into private commercial
term subsidies might be justified in order to corporations.
reach particularly challenging groups of clients.
But there is now widespread agreement, within In the early years most MFIs were ownerless
the industry at least, that in most situations MFIs not-for-profit associations, often referred to as
ought to pursue financial sustainability by being nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). If an
as efficient as they can and by charging interest NGO generates a profit, the money normally
rates and fees high enough to cover the costs of stays in the institution and is used to fund
their lending and other services. additional services and benefits for clients. But

February 2009

Document cls CGAP Brief Are Microcredit Interest rates excessive? February 2009
Midi de la microfinance 13

many NGO MFIs have eventually wanted to circumstances of individual MFIs around the
add deposit-taking to their activities, because world, but also because there is no agreed
they see savings services as valuable for their standard for what is abusive. There is an intense
clients, and because capturing deposits allows dispute about how high interest rates and profits
them to fund expansion of their microlending. would have to be to qualify as excessive, and
When NGOs approach a government banking indeed about whether terms like this have any
authority for a license to take deposits, they are useful meaning, at least in the arena of for-
usually required to reorganize their businesses profit microfinance. In a recent CGAP study,
into for-profit shareholder-owned corporations. we did not propose any theoretical framework
Once this happens, profits can wind up in the or benchmark against which to measure what
pockets of private shareholders, inevitably is excessive or not. We presented available
raising the specter of such owners making data, and then formed our own admittedly
extreme returns on their investment by charging intuitive judgment about the reasonableness of
abusive interest rates to poor borrowers who the general picture appearing in that data. Of
have little bargaining power because their other course, readers will apply their own criteria or
credit options are limited. intuition to the data in judging whether rates or
profits strike them as abusive, exploitative,
A firestorm of controversy erupted in April 2007 excessive, unreasonable, etc.
when shareholders of Compartamos, a Mexican
MFI with a banking license, sold a part of their CGAP analyzed the level and trend of microcredit
shares in a public offering at an astonishingly rates, and compared these rates with other
high price, which made some of the individual rates that low-income borrowers pay. Then we
sellers instant millionaires. One important decomposed MFI interest income, looking at
reason for the high price was that Compartamos the levels of its four main components: cost of
was charging its clients very high interest rates funds, loan loss expense, administrative cost,
and making very high profits. The annualized and profit. Finally, we briefly considered whether
interest rate on loans was above 85 percent emerging competition can be expected to lower
(not including a 15 percent tax paid by clients), rates in the future.
producing an annual return of 55 percent on
shareholders equity. Interest rate levels

In fact, most MFIs charge interest rates well below Based on the best data available, the median
those that provoked controversy in the case of interest rate for sustainable (i.e., profitable)
Compartamos. But the story tapped into a deep MFIs was about 26 percent in 2006. The 85
well of concern about high microcredit interest percent interest rates that drew so much
rates and the trend toward commercialization attention to the Mexican MFI Compartamos are
of microfinance. truly exceptional, rather than representative of
the industry. Less than 1 percent of borrowers
Are microcredit rates abusively high? Obviously pay rates that high.
there can be no one-size-fits-all answer to this MFI interest rates declined by 2.3 percentage
question, not only because there are huge points a year between 2003 and 2006, much
variations in the interest rates and related faster than bank rates.

Document cls CGAP Brief Are Microcredit Interest rates excessive? February 2009
14 Midi de la microfinance

Comparison with other rates Administrative expenses


paid by low-income borrowers
Tiny loans do require higher administrative
MFI rates were significantly lower than expenses, which are not substantially offset by
consumer and credit card rates in most of economies of scale. On the other hand, the
the 36 countries for which we could find rate learning curve of MFIs as they age produces
indications, and significantly higher than those substantial reductions.
rates in only a fifth of the countries. Administrative costs, at about 11 percent of
Based on 34 reports from 21 countries, MFI loan portfolio in 2006, are the largest single
rates were almost always lowerusually contributor to interest rates, but they have
vastly lowerthan rates charged by informal been declining by 1 percentage point per
lenders. year since 2003. This decline appears to be a
MFI rates were typically higher than credit true improvement in the cost of serving each
union rates in the 10 countries for which borrower, not just the result of expanding
data were found. But in the cases where the loan sizes.
credit unions offered a specialized microcredit We have no statistical way to quantify how
product, their interest charges tended to be much avoidable fat remains to be trimmed
the same as, or higher than, prevailing MFI from MFI operating costs. Given the finding
rates. However, it is hard to make much of this about the learning curvei.e., that the level
information, not only because the sample size of these costs is strongly related to the age
is so small, but also because we know little of the MFIit would be unrealistic not to
about the comparability of customers and expect substantial inefficiency at a time
products. when most MFIs are relatively young, and
when most national microfinance markets
Cost of funds are immature and noncompetitive. We are
unaware of any evidence to suggest that
MFIs have to pay more than banks pay when MFIs in general are out of line with the
they leverage their equity with liabilities, and normal evolution of efficiency for businesses
their cost of funds as a percentage of loan in such markets.
portfolio (about 8 percent) showed no sign
of dropping in 20032006. But it is hard to Profits
criticize MFI managers for their funding costs,
because they dont usually have much control MFIs on average have higher returns on assets
over these costs, in the medium term at than commercial banks do, but MFIs produce
least. lower returns on equity for their owners.
The median return on MFI owners equity in
Loan losses 2006 was moderate12.3 percent, roughly 4
percent lower than the return for banks. The
MFI interest rates are not being inflated by very high profits that have drawn so much
unreasonable loan losses. In fact, default rates attention to Compartamos are outliers, not at
are very lowabout 1.9 percent in 2006. all typical of the industry.

Document cls CGAP Brief Are Microcredit Interest rates excessive? February 2009
Midi de la microfinance 15

February 2009
At the same time, the most profitable universal the lower-interest-rates-through-
10 percent of the worldwide microcredit competition scenario will be.
portfolio produced returns on equity
All CGAP publications
above 34 percent in 2006, a level that is no How all this information is put together is up are available on the
doubt high enough to raise concerns about to each reader. We approach the issue from CGAP Web site at
www.cgap.org.
appropriateness for some observers. Much a development perspective, where the main
of this profit is captured by NGOs and never concern is not financial results but rather client CGAP
reaches private pockets. But some of it does benefitincluding, of course, those future 1818 H Street, NW
MSN P3-300
go to private investors. A judgment about clients who will get access to financial services Washington, DC
whether such profits are abusive would as new investment expands the outreach of 20433 USA
depend, not only on the observers standard MFIs. A few MFIs have charged their borrowers
Tel: 202-473-9594
for what is a reasonable profit, but also on interest rates that seem considerably higher than Fax: 202-522-3744
investigation of individual MFI circumstances, what would make sense from this perspective.
Email:
including the risk levels faced by investors Indeed, it would be astonishing if this were not
cgap@worldbank.org
when they committed their funds. the case, given the diversity of the industry and
Profits of sustainable MFIs, measured as the scarcity of competitive markets yet. CGAP, 2009

a percentage of loan portfolio, have been


dropping by about one-tenth (0.6 percentage The real question is whether unreasonable
points) per year since 2003. MFI lending rates are more than occasional
Profits are not a predominant driver of interest exceptions. We do not find evidence suggesting
rates. For the median MFI, the extreme and any widespread pattern of borrower exploitation
unrealistic scenario of complete elimination by abusive MFI interest rates. We do find
of all profit would cause its interest rate to strong empirical support for the proposition
drop by only about one-seventh. Such an that operating costs are much higher for tiny
interest reduction would not be insignificant, microloans than for normal bank loans, so
but it would still leave microcredit rates at sustainable interest rates for microloans have to
levels that might look abusive to politicians be significantly higher than normal bank interest
and the public, neither of whom usually rates. We find a general pattern of moderate
understand the high costs that tiny lending profits for MFI owners. Finally, we find that
inevitably entails. interest rates, operating costs, and profits have
been declining quite rapidly in recent years,
Competition and we would expect this trend to continue in
the medium-term future.
One cannot assume that competition will
always lower interest rates. Interest rates do This Brief is a summary of The New
appear to have dropped in the markets where Moneylenders: Are the Poor Being Exploited
microcredit has already become competitive, by High Microcredit Interest Rates, by Richard
except in Bangladesh. But it is still too early Rosenberg, Adrian Gonzalez, and Sushma
to make any robust prediction about how Narain (Washington, D.C.: CGAP, 2009).

AUTHORS
Richard Rosenberg, Adrian Gonzalez, and Sushma Narain

Document cls CGAP Brief Are Microcredit Interest rates excessive? February 2009
16 Midi de la microfinance

Access to Finance
FoRuM
Reports by CGAP and Its Partners
No. 7, June 2013

Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants


20042011

Richard Rosenberg, Scott Gaul, William Ford, and Olga Tomilova

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
Midi de la microfinance 17

introduction

F
rom the beginning of modern microcredit,1 its defer most discussion of methodology until the An-
most controversial dimension has been the in- nex, one point is worth making here at the begin-
terest rates charged by microlendersoften re- ning. The earlier CGAP paper used data from a con-
ferred to as microfinance institutions (MFIs).2 These sistent panel: that is, trend analysis was based on 175
rates are higher, often much higher, than normal profitable microlenders that had reported their data
bank rates, mainly because it inevitably costs more to each year from 2003 through 2006. This approach
lend and collect a given amount through thousands gave a picture of what happened to a typical set of
of tiny loans than to lend and collect the same amount microlenders over time.
in a few large loans. Higher administrative costs have This paper, by contrast, mainly uses data from
to be covered by higher interest rates. But how much MFIs that reported at any time from 2004 through
higher? Many people worry that poor borrowers are 2011.3 Thus, for example, a microlender that entered
being exploited by excessive interest rates, given that the market in 2005, or one that closed down in 2009,
those borrowers have little bargaining power, and would be included in the data for the years when
that an ever-larger proportion of microcredit is mov- they provided reports. We feel this approach gives a
ing into for-profit organizations where higher inter- better picture of the evolution of the whole market,
est rates could, as the story goes, mean higher returns and thereby better approximates the situation of a
for the shareholders. typical set of clients over time. The drawback is that
Several years ago CGAP reviewed 20032006 fi- trend lines in this paper cannot be mapped against
nancial data from hundreds of MFIs collected by the trend lines in the previous paper, because the sam-
Microfinance Information Exchange (MIX), look- ple of MFIs was selected on a different basis. (We
ing at interest rates and the costs and profits that did calculate panel data for a consistent set of 456
drive those interest rates. The main purpose of that MFIs that reported from 2007 through 2011; we
paper (Rosenberg, Gonzalez, and Narain 2009) was used this data mainly to check trends that we report
to assemble empirical data that would help frame from the full 20042011 data set.)
the question of the reasonableness of microcredit
interest rates, allowing a discussion based more on 3. For readers interested in the composition of this group, we can
summarize the distribution of the more than 6000 annual ob-
facts and less on ideology.
servations from 2004 through 2011. Note that this is the distri-
In this paper, we review a better and fuller set of bution of MFIs, not of customers served. Category definitions
MIX data that runs from 2004 to 2011. Though we can be found in the Annex:
Region: SSA 14%, EAP 13%, ECA 18%, LAC 34%, MENA 5%, S.
1. In this paper, microcredit refers to very small, shorter-term, Asia 16% (for abbreviations see Figure 1).
usually uncollateralized loans made to low-income microen- Profit status: for-profit 39%, nonprofit 59%, n/a 2%. (Note
trepreneurs and their households, using unconventional tech- that for-profit MFIs serve the majority of borrowers, because
niques such as group liability, frequent repayment periods, they tend to be larger than nonprofit MFIs.)
escalating loan sizes, forced savings schemes, etc.
2. MFIs are financial providers that focus, sometimes exclusive- Prudentially regulated by financial authorities? yes 57%, no
ly, on delivery of financial services targeted at low-income 41%, n/a 2%
clients whose income sources are typically informal, rather Legal form: bank 9%, regulated nonbank financial institution
than wages from registered employers. Among these financial 32%, credit union/co-op 13%, NGO 38%, rural bank 6%, other
services, microcredit predominates in most MFIs today, but or n/a 2%
savings, insurance, payments, and other money transfers are Target market: low micro 42%, broad micro 49%, high micro
being added to the mix, as well as more varied and flexible 5%, small business 4%
forms of credit. MFIs take many formsfor instance, informal
Financial intermediation (voluntary savings): >1/5 of assets
village banks, not-for-profit lending agencies, savings and
39%, up to 1/5 of assets 17%, none 44%
loan cooperatives, for-profit finance companies, licensed spe-
cialized banks, specialized departments in universal commer- Age: 14 years 10%, 58 years 19%, >8 years 69%, n/a 2%
cial banks, and government programs and institutions. Borrowers: <10k 48%, 10k30k 23%, >30k 29%

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
18 Midi de la microfinance

The data set and the methodology used to gener- is profit (or loss). A simplified version of the relevant
ate our results are discussed further in this papers formula is
Annex. Our main purpose here is to survey market Income from loans = Cost of funds + Loan loss
developments over the period; there will not be expense + Operating Expense + Profit4,5
much discussion of the appropriateness of interest
In other words, interest incomethe amount of
rates, costs, or profits. A major new feature of this
loan charges that microlenders collect from their
paper is that it is complemented by an online data-
customersmoves up or down only if one or more of
base, described later in the paper, that readers can
the components on the right side of the equation
use to dig more deeply into the underlying MIX
moves up or down.
dataand in particular, to look at the dynamics of
That formula provides the structure of this paper:
individual country markets.
Not surprisingly, five more years of data re- Section 1 looks at the level and trend of micro-
veal some important changes in the industry. For lenders interest rates worldwide, and breaks
instance, them out among different types of institutions
(peer groups).
Globally, interest rates declined substantially
through 2007, but then leveled off. This is partly Section 2 examines the cost of funds that micro-
due to the behavior of operating (i.e., staff and lenders borrow to fund their loan portfolio.
administrative) costs, whose long-term decline
Section 3 reports on loan losses, including worri-
was interrupted in 2008 and 2011. Another fac-
some recent developments in two large markets.
tor has been a rise in microlenders cost of
funds, as they expanded beyond subsidized re- Section 4 presents trends in operating expens-
sources and drew increasingly on commercial es, and touches on the closely related issue of
borrowings. loan size.

Average returns on equity have been falling, and Section 5 looks at microlenders profits, the most
the percentage of borrowers loan payments that controversial component of microcredit interest
go to profits has dropped dramatically. This is rates.
good news for those who are worried about ex- A reader without time to read the whole paper
ploitation of poor borrowers, but may be more may wish to skip to Section 6, which provides a
ambiguous for those concerned about the finan- graphic overview of the movement of interest
cial performance of the industry. rates and their components over the period and
For the subset of lenders who focus on a low- a summary of the main findings.
end (i.e., poorer) clientele, interest rates have The Annex describes our database and method-
risen, along with operating expenses and cost ology, including the reasons for dropping four
of funds. On the other hand, low-end lenders large microlenders6 from the analysis.
are considerably more profitable on average
than other lenders (except in 2011, when the A dense forest of data lies behind this paper. To
profitability of the group was depressed by a avoid unreasonable demands on the readers pa-
repayment crisis in the Indian state of Andhra tience, we have limited ourselves to the tops of
Pradesh). some of the more important trees. But MIX has
posted our data files on its website, including Excel
The percentage of borrowers interest payments
that went to MFI profits dropped from about one-
4. Operating expense is the term MIX uses to describe person-
fifth in 2004 to less than one-tenth in 2011. nel and administrative costs, such as salaries, depreciation,
As in the 2009 paper, we will look not just at in- maintenance, etc.
terest rates but also at their componentsthat is, the 5. A fuller formula is
Income from loans + Other income = Cost of funds + Loan loss
main factors that determine how high interest rates
expense + Operating expense + Tax + Profit
will be. Lenders use their interest income to cover 6. BRI (Indonesia), Harbin Bank (China), Postal Savings Bank
costs, and the difference between income and costs of China, and Vietnam Bank for Social Policy.

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
Midi de la microfinance 19

pivot tables where readers can slice the data any way more than 800 different data cuts that were avail-
they like (http://microfinance-business-solution. able. Most of the information presented here is in
mixmarket.org/rs/microfinance/images/Interest the form of global cuts, often broken out by peer
Rate Paper Supporting Data.zip). The pivot tables groups, such as region, for-profit status, loan meth-
allow a user to select among 14 financial indicators odology, etc. But for many readers, the most rele-
and display 20042001 adjusted or unadjusted re- vant peer grouping will consist of the micro-
sults (weighted averages and quartiles) broken out lenders operating in a particular country. We
in any of nine different peer groupings, including strongly encourage these readers to use the online
individual countries. pivot tables to customize an analysis of what has
In choosing which groupings of these data to in- been happening in any specific country.
clude in the paper, we have had to select among

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
20 Midi de la microfinance

1
Section

Level and trend of interest Rates

How to measure microcredit microborrowers are really paying, interest yield is


inferior to APR in important ways. For instance,
interest
In 2011, about a third of microborrowers were
Before presenting data and findings, we need to served by lenders that use compulsory savings
discuss two different ways to measure interest that is, they require borrowers to maintain a per-
rates on microloans: interest yield and annual per- centage of their loan on deposit with the lender.
centage rate (APR). Understanding the distinction This practice raises the effective interest rate,
between these two is crucial for a proper interpre- because the deposit requirement reduces the net
tation of the interest rate data we present in this loan disbursement that the borrower can actu-
section. ally use, while the borrower pays interest on the
From a client standpoint, a typical way to state full loan amount. APR incorporates this effect,
interest rates is to calculate an APR on the clients while interest yield does not.
particular loan product. APR takes into account the
amount and timing of all the cash flows associated MIXs calculation of interest yield lumps the
with the loan, including not only things that are ex- lenders entire portfolio together, even though
plicitly designated as interest and principal, but that portfolio may contain loan products with
also any other expected fees or charges, as well as quite different terms, and may even include
compulsory deposits that are a condition of the products that are better characterized as small
loan. This APR indicator is a good representation of business loans rather than microloans.
the effective cost of a loan for borrowers who pay as The denominator of the MIX interest yield ratio
agreed. APR can be substantially different from is GLPthe total amount of all outstanding loans
(usually higher than) the stated interest rate in the that has neither been repaid nor written off. But
loan contract. some of those loans are delinquentthe borrow-
MicroFinance Transparency (MF Transparency) ers are behind on payments. The effect of this
is building a database with APR information on difference can be illustrated simply. Suppose
some or all of the significant microlenders in a that total interest income is 200, and GLP is
growing range of countries. Collection of these data 1000, producing an interest yield of 20 percent
is labor-intensive and depends on the willing coop- that the average borrower is paying. But if the
eration of microlenders who might occasionally portion of the loans that is actually performing is
find the publication of these pricing specifics em- only 800, then the average borrowers are really
barrassing. As of this writing, the MF Transparency paying 25 percent.8
website displays data from 17 countries.7
In contrast, the MIX database we draw from in An internal MIX analysis in 2011, based on seven
this paper cannot generate APRs. What MIX pro- countries for which MF Transparency also had
vides is interest yield, which expresses the total of data, found that the MIX interest yield understat-
all income from loans (interest, fees, other loan
8. MIX is building better information about compulsory depos-
charges) as a percentage of the lenders average an-
its, and makes adjustments that attempt to represent net port-
nual gross loan portfolio (GLP). From the vantage folio more accurately, but we found that these MIX data were
point of the lender, interest yield is clearly mean- not yet consistent enough to produce reliable results at pres-
ingful. But as an indication of what individual ent. A very rough analysis of these data suggests that compul-
sory deposits in some MFIs might add something like 3 per-
7. http://data.mftransparency.org/data/countries/ cent to the worldwide average APR. The average impact of
adjusting for nonperforming loans is harder to decipher.

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
Midi de la microfinance 21

ed the MF Transparency APR by an average of Finally, we emphasize that the issue discussed above
about 6 percentage points. However, the sample applies only to data about interest rates. It poses no
was too small to allow for much generalization of problem for the majority of our analysis, which deals
this result. with the determinants of interest rates, namely cost
Given the limitations of the MIX interest yield of funds, loan losses, operating expenses, and profit.
measure, why are we using it in this paper? One
reason is that the MIXs much broader coverage
provides a better sample of the worldwide micro- Level of interest Yields in 2011
credit market: more than 105 countries for 2011,
compared to MF Transparencys 17. An even more Figure 1 shows a global median interest yield of
important reason is that MIX, having started col- about 27 percent. Distribution graphs like this one
lecting data long before MF Transparency, has remind us that there is wide variation in microcred-
many more years of data, allowing trend analysis it rates, so any statement about a median (or aver-
that is not yet possible for the latter. We think it age) rate is a composite summary that veils a great
highly likely that interest yield trends and APR deal of underlying diversity. The regional distribu-
trends would move approximately in parallel tion indicates that rates vary more widely in Africa
over a span of years. A detailed discussion of this and Latin America than in other regions. Also, we
point will be posted along with our under- notice that rates are substantially lower in South
lying data (http://microfinance-business-solution. Asia than elsewhere: the relative cost of hiring staff
mixmarket.org/rs/microfinance/images/Interest tends to be lower there, andat least in Bangla-
Rate Paper Supporting Data.zip). deshthe political climate and the strong social ori-
How, then, should the reader regard the mean-
ingfulness of interest yield data? Here is our view:
1. Actual effective rates paid for specific loan prod- FiguRe 1
ucts at a point in time. Interest yield probably un-
MFi interest Yield Distribution, 2011
derstates these by varying and often substantial
100
amounts.
90
2. Peer group differences (e.g., how do rates at for-
profit and nonprofit microlenders compare on 80

average?). We think that substantial differences 70


in interest yield among peer groups are very 60
likely a meaningful indication of a difference
Percent

50
among the groups in what their average bor-
rowers pay. However, some caution is appropri- 40
ate here, because the gap between interest yield 30
and true APR can vary from one peer group to
20
another.9
10
3. Time-series trends. Trends in interest yields (the
0
main focus of this section) are probably quite a WORLD Africa EAP ECA LAC MENA S. Asia
good indicator of trends in what typical borrow-
Note: Interest and fee income from loan portfolio as % of average GLP,
ers are actually paying, on the plausible assump- 866 MFIs reporting to MIX. The thick horizontal bars represent medi-
tion that the gap between interest yield and APR ans; the top and bottom of the solid boxes represent the 75th and 25th
percentiles, respectively; and the high and low short bars represent the
stays relatively stable on average from one year 95th and 5th percentiles, respectively. So, for example, 95 percent of
to the next. the MFIs in the sample are collecting an interest yield below about 70
percent. Data here are unweighted: each MFI counts the same regard-
less of size. EAP = East Asia and Pacific, ECA = Europe and Central
9. This is particularly true when comparing MFIs that focus on
Asia, LAC = Latin America and the Caribbean, MENA = Middle East
smaller loans to poorer clients, as against MFIs with a broad
and North Africa.
suite of loan products, some of which serve clients that might
not fit ones particular definition of micro.

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
22 Midi de la microfinance

entation of the industry have probably led manag- On the assumption that the microcredit market
ers to focus more on keeping rates low.10 is getting more saturated and competitive in quite a
few countries, we might have expected a different
result. Analysis of individual countries where the
global average interest rates have market is thought to be more competitive shows
stopped declining in recent years continued interest rate decline post-2006 in some
(e.g., Bolivia, Nicaragua, Cambodia) but not in oth-
Figure 2 shows a drop in average global microcredit ers (e.g., Mexico, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Indonesia).
rates through 2007, but not thereafter. (Inflation- Sorting out the evidence on the effects of competi-
adjusted rates fell in 2008 because few micro- tion would require more detailed country analysis
lenders raised their rates enough to compensate for than we were able to do for this paper.
the spike in worldwide inflation that year.)11 The
analysis of interest rate determinants later in the
paper suggests that the main reason world average Peer group patterns
rates didnt drop after 2007 is that operating (i.e.,
staff and administrative) costs stayed level.12 The regional breakout in Figure 3 shows that over
the full 20042011 period, Latin America is the only
region with no significant decline in average inter-
FiguRe 2 est yield. However, there is important regional vari-
ation since 2006: Africa and East Asia/Pacific show
global interest Yield trends, 20042011 substantial continued declinesperhaps because
35 they were the least developed markets in 2006. At
Nominal any rate, these two regions are the ones that sub-
30
stantially improved their operating expenses since
25 2006 (see Figure 12). But reported average rates ac-
tually went back up in Latin America, the most
20 Real commercialized of the regions.
Percent

15 Figure 4 illustrates the unremarkable finding


that for-profit microlenders collect higher average
10
interest yields than nonprofit microlenders. How-
5 ever, for-profit interest rates have dropped more
than nonprofit interest rates: the average difference
0
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 between the two peer groups dropped from 5 per-
centage points in 2004 down to 1.7 percentage
Note: Global interest and fee income from loans/average total GLP,
weighted by GLP, both nominal and net of inflation. points by 2011. By way of illustration, on a $1000
loan in 2011, the annual difference between the for-
profit and nonprofit interest charges would amount
10. Figure 1 and subsequent figures showing percentile distribu- on average to $17, or less than $1.50 per month.
tions are unweighted; in other words, each MFI counts the When we separate microlenders by the target
same regardless of its size. Not surprisingly, the median in market they serve (Figure 5), we find that in institu-
such a distribution may be different from the weighted aver-
age (e.g., Figure 3) where large MFIs count for proportion- tions focused on the low-end market (smaller aver-
ally more than small MFIs. However, in the particular case of age loan sizes, and thus presumably poorer borrow-
the 2011 global interest yield, the weighted average (see Fig- ers) interest rates are actually higher in 2011 than
ure 2) and the median are very close, about 27 percent.
11. The same effects show up in panel analysis where we tracked
they were in 2004.13
the 456 MFIs that reported consistently to MIX every year
from 2007 to 2011. 13. Loan sizes here are measured as a percentage of countries
12. As we will see later (compare Figures 3 and 12), the correla- per capita national income. People with wide on-the-ground
tion between interest yield and operating cost shows up at experience of many MFIs agree that their average loan sizes
the regional level: Africa and EAP, the two regions with inter- bear some rough relation to client povertypoorer clients
est rate declines since 2006, also had lower operating costs. tending to take smaller loansbut the relationship is very far
from perfect. See, for instance, Schreiner, Matul, Pawlak, and
Kline (2006) and Hoepner, Liu, and Wilson (2011).

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
Midi de la microfinance 23

Figure 6, comparing regulated and nonregulated


microlenders,14 seems to point in the same direc- FiguRe 3
tion. Regulation refers here to licensing and/or
interest Yield changes 20042011
prudential supervision by the countrys banking
45
authorities. Most of the regulated microcredit port- 2004
40 39% 2006
folio is in banks, and most of these are for-profit. 37%
35% 34% 2011
35
The regulated lenders tend to have lower rates: they 30% 30% 30% 30% 30%
30 28%
tend to offer larger loans, while the nonregulated 26% 27%

Percent
26% 27% 25%26%
25%
25 23% 23%
MFIs tend to make smaller loans that require high- 22%
21%
20
er operating costs per dollar lent. Rates among non-
15
regulated microlenders have been rising substan-
10
tially since 2006.
5
0
14. Regulated refers to banks and other finance companies that WORLD Africa EAP ECA LAC MENA S. Asia
are subject to prudential regulation and supervision by the 0.4% 2.4% 1.3% 1.0% 0.0% 0.6% 1.1%
countys banking and financial authorities. The rest of the +0.1% 2.5% 1.5% 0% +0.7% +0.2% 0.4%
MFIs are categorized as nonregulated: like any other busi- Avg. change per year, 20042011 Avg. change per year, 20062011
ness, they are subject to some regulation (e.g., consumer pro-
tection) but not to prudential regulation whose objective is to Note: Interest and fee income from loans as percentage of average GLP for
guard the financial health of an institution taking deposits the period, weighted by GLP. The Africa series begins in 2005 rather than
from the public. MFIs are categorized based on their status 2004.
in 2011.

FiguRe 4 FiguRe 5

For-Profit vs. nonprofit interest Yields, interest Yields by target Market, 20042011
20042011 40
Low End
35 35
For-profit MFIs
30 30
Broad
25 25
Percent

Nonprofit MFIs 20
20 High End
Percent

15
15
10
10
5
5 0
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
0
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
Note: Total interest and fee income / average total GLP, weighted by
GLP, nominal. MFIs are grouped by depthaverage loan balance
Note: Total interest and fee income/average total GLP, weighted by per borrower as % of per capita gross national income. For the low
GLP. MFIs are assigned to for-profit or nonprofit depending on end market, depth is <20% or average loan balance < US$150. For
their legal status in 2011. broad, depth is between 20% and 149%. For high end, depth is
between 150% and 250%. For the small business market, which is
not included in this graph, depth is over 250%.

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
24 Midi de la microfinance

The two preceding figures show higher rates for


FiguRe 6 lenders that tend to focus on smaller borrowers. At
first blush, this looks like bad news for low-end cli-
Regulated vs. nonregulated interest Yields,
ents. However, the trend probably reflects some
20042011
shifting of low-end clientele: if banks and broad-
40 market microlenders have been capturing more of
Nonregulated
35
the easier-to-serve portion of poor borrowers, then
the unregulated and low-end microlenders would be
30
left with a somewhat tougher segment of clients, and
25 their rising interest rates might simply reflect the
Regulated
higher expenses of serving this segment.15 Another
Percent

20
factor is that funding costs for low-end lenders have
15
been rising, as we will see in Figure 8.
10 The fact that costs and thus interest rates are ris-
5 ing for microlenders who focus on poorer clients
has a bearing on the perennial argument over
0
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 whether to protect the poor by imposing interest
Note: Total interest and fee income/average total GLP, weighted by rate caps. As costs rise for low-end microlenders, a
GLP. given fixed-interest rate cap would put (or keep)
more and more of them out of business as the years
go by.
Having sketched a few important patterns and
trends in interest rates, we now turn to the princi-
pal elements that determine (or drive) those rates.
To repeat, the simplified description of this rela-
tionship is
Income from loans = Cost of funds + Loan loss
expense + Operating Expense + Profit
After looking at these determinants individually,
we will put them back together again in Section 6
to show how the trends in these elements combine
to produce the trends in interest yields.

15. If this conjecture is true, we might expect to see average loan


sizes decreasing in both broad-market and low-end MFIs, as
well as in both regulated and nonregulated MFIs. This is in-
deed what has happenedaverage loan sizes have declined
by roughly five percentage points among all these groups
since 2006. And operating expense ratios have been rising for
MFIs aimed at the low-end clientele.

Document cls Microcredit Interest Rates and Their Determinants, 20042011, Access to Finance Forum Reports by CGAP and Its Partners, no. 7, June 2013
Midi de la microfinance 25

Microcrdit : comment faire baisser des taux dintrt trop levs

Comment la microfinance peut-elle prtendre servir le progrs conomique et social alors que ses
taux dintrt sont souvent compris, dans les pays en dveloppement, entre 30% et 70% par an ?

Si depuis le Prix Nobel de M. Yunus, on a beaucoup parl du microcrdit, cette question na gure
t voque. Pourtant le niveau des taux mrite dtre assum et expliqu, afin de comprendre
quelles conditions il pourrait baisser.

De fait, malgr des taux dintrt levs, la demande de microcrdit est massive, avec plus de cent
millions de clients dans le monde. Dans les pays en dveloppement, plus de 80% de la population na
pas accs aux banques. Pourtant, emprunter est souvent une ncessit : pour faire face un imprvu,
grer son budget, profiter dune opportunit conomique En comparaison des taux des usuriers
(200% 1000% par an), les taux des institutions de microfinance (IMF) sont attractifs. Bien utiliss
par des micro-entrepreneurs aux activits souvent rentables (commerce de proximit, services,
artisanat), les microcrdits permettent de dgager un bnfice suprieur aux intrts pays. Un taux
de 30% par an pour un prt de 500 euros sur 6 mois ce nest jamais que 1,50 euro dintrt par
semaine. Pour un petit commerant ce nest pas cher pay si le prt lui ouvre une opportunit. Son
souci premier nest pas le taux, mais la rapidit daccs au crdit.

Du cot de loffre, les taux levs des IMF sont ncessaires pour couvrir leurs charges : dune part le
cot du capital prt, car elles lempruntent elles-mmes en partie, des taux qui varient de 8%
20% ; dautre part, leurs cots de fonctionnement qui reprsentent gnralement de 20% 50% des
sommes prtes. Loctroi de crdits gnre en effet des charges fixes (rencontrer le client, suivre le
remboursement) et plus les crdits sont petits, plus ces cots sont proportionnellement levs. Les
IMF les ont rduits leur niveau actuel en adoptant des mthodes novatrices (prts des groupes
demprunteurs solidaires, proximit avec les clients) qui assurent en outre dexcellents taux de
remboursement souvent suprieurs 95%. En grandissant, les IMF ralisent de surcrot des
conomies dchelle : les clients fidles accdant des prts plus importants, le volume des crdits,
et donc les revenus dintrts, croissent plus vite que les charges.

Ainsi, mme si la grande majorit des IMF est aujourdhui dficitaire, certaines dgagent dj des
bnfices. Vont-elles pour autant baisser leurs taux (en rponse leur finalit sociale) ou les
maintenir (dans un objectif de rentabilit) ? Face cette dualit dobjectifs, chaque IMF doit trouver
son propre quilibre. On observe gnralement que mme les IMF les plus sociales, qui ne visent
que la rentabilit ncessaire leur prennit, ne baissent pas leurs taux. Elles profitent des gains de
productivit pour mieux servir leur mission par exemple, toucher des clients plus pauvres. En
ralit, le vritable moteur de la baisse des taux, cest la concurrence entre IMF. En Bolivie, ils ont
t ainsi diviss par trois entre 1992 et 2003. Au Mexique, o la concurrence a t plus tardive, les
taux restent trs levs.

Ds lors, comment les pouvoirs publics peuvent-ils influer sur la baisse des taux ? Trois mesures
savrent contreproductives. La premire est daccuser les IMF de prosprer aux dpens de leurs
clients argument dmagogique, parfois utilis par des politiciens, comme au Bnin lors de la
rcente campagne prsidentielle. La deuxime est de plafonner les taux par la loi ; pour maintenir
leurs revenus, les IMF doivent alors octroyer des prts plus levs, donc des personnes moins
pauvres. Le troisime cueil, pour un acteur public en qute de popularit, est de distribuer lui-mme
des microcrdits. Ils sont alors perus comme des cadeaux , mal rembourss, et lactivit tombe
rapidement en faillite, dcourageant au passage les acteurs privs. En Afrique de lOuest, la nouvelle
Banque Rgionale de Solidarit risque de connatre ce triste sort.

Document cls Microcrdit : comment faire baisser des taux dintrt trop levs ? Jrmy Hajdenberg, janvier 2007
26 Midi de la microfinance

En revanche il existe au moins deux faons de favoriser la baisse des taux : 1) imposer aux IMF une
plus grande transparence, car la diversit des mthodes de calcul des intrts et des commissions
rend difficile la comparaison des offres par les clients ; 2) subventionner la cration dIMF l o la
concurrence est encore faible. En effet, elle tend se concentrer sur le segment troit des petits
entrepreneurs urbains dj installs. Les publics plus difficiles servir sont dlaisss, en zones
rurales en particulier.

Enfin, du fait de son taux lev et de sa faible dure (six mois en moyenne), le microcrdit, dans sa
forme la plus courante, nest pas adapt pour des dpenses non-productives - habitat, dpenses de
sant, scolarit. De plus en plus dIMF proposent de nouveaux produits - pargne flexible, crdits
plus longs, micro-assurance - plus adapts ces dpenses. Mme si ces besoins dordre social
appellent des rponses bien plus larges, le dveloppement de ces produits peut jouer un rle essentiel
et doit tre encourag, notamment par des fonds publics.
Sbastien Boy et Jrmy Hajdenberg sont auteurs avec Christine Poursat du Guide de la
microfinance (Ed. dOrganisation, 2006). Michal Cheylan est fondateur et responsable de CAPafrique
(www.capafrique.org).

Document transmis le 15 Janvier 2007, par M. Jrmy Hajdenberg


(jeremy.hajdenberg@ipconseil.com) Espace finance (espacefinance@cirad.fr).
Pour ragir cet article, contacter M. Jrmy Hajdenberg (jeremy.hajdenberg@ipconseil.com).

Document cls Microcrdit : comment faire baisser des taux dintrt trop levs ? Jrmy Hajdenberg, janvier 2007
Midi de la microfinance 27

MicroFinance Transparency is an international non-governmental organization that promotes transparency by facilitating


microfinance pricing disclosure, offering policy advisory services and developing training and education materials for all
market stakeholders. MFTransparency represents an industry movement toward responsible pricing practices.
MFTransparency collects, analyzes and discloses microloan pricing data from over 500 microfinance institutions around the
world on loans going to over 50 million clients. Working on a country-by-country basis the pricing data is calculated using a
standardized approach that enables all prices in all countries to be analyzed without definitional inconsistencies.

ECUADOR
Ecuador has one of the fastest growing microfinance sectors in the Latin American region. Following the governments recent
determined effort to reform the existing supervisory framework and provide access to funding for microfinance institutions,
the future outlook of the sector looks positive. The leading providers of microfinance are downscaling commercial banks,
regulated loans and saving cooperatives, registered cooperatives and non-government organizations. The gap in market
penetration between urban and rural areas are relatively high, represents a significant untapped demand for financial services.
The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Ecuador has published standardized pricing data from 27 microfinance providers,
representing over three quarters of Ecuadors active microfinance borrowers. Launched in 2010 the Initiative is delivered in
partnership with the Red Financial Rural (RFR) and is funded by the Ford Foundation.
The Price Graph showing Ecuadors microfinance pricing was constructed using two formulas the standardized national
formula (Tasa Efectiva Anual) and the Effective Interest Rate (EIR) including security deposit. Microloan prices in Ecuador
range from 10% to 40% TEA.
Minimal variations in microloan pricing are seen across institution type, geographic location and product purpose. Nearly
100% of the institutions analysed use the declining balance interest rate calculation method. The use of fees and other
charges were reported among many of the participating institutions.

Document cls Price Graphs, Transparent Pricing Initiative, MFTransparency, 2013


28 Midi de la microfinance

KENYA
Kenya has a high rate of financial inclusion relative to other East African countries. The microfinance industry in Kenya is
one of the most developed in Sub-Saharan Africa, serving an estimated 23% of the adult population. The industry has grown
enormously over the last 10 years, both in terms of the gross loan portfolio disbursed and the number of active borrowers
served. This growth has been aided by the rapid expansion of mobile banking and complimentary regulatory policies related
to deposit collection, branchless banking and agent banking. The introduction of a Credit Information System has also played
an instrumental role in the growth and success of the industry. The main types of microfinance service provider in Kenya
include downscaling commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, licensed saving and credit cooperatives and NGOs.
The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Kenya has published standardized pricing data from 18 institutions, representing the
vast majority of Kenyas active microloan borrowers. The Kenya Initiative was launched in January 2010 with a range of
pricing and transparency workshops.
The pricing dynamics of the Kenyan microfinance market mirror the global trends observed, with an increase in prices
correlating with a decrease in loan sizes. Prices observed when applying the APR (interest+fees+insurance) formula range
from 10% to 70%, varying with the size of the loan amongst other factors.
The Kenyan microfinance industrys favored pricing calculation method is flat interest rate with just 13% of the products
analyzed using the declining balance method. A significant difference in prices between institution type is not observed and
whether an institution is regulated was not found to be a cause for differences in microloan prices.

Document cls Price Graphs, Transparent Pricing Initiative, MFTransparency, 2013


Midi de la microfinance 29

CAMBODIA
The Cambodian microfinance market is one of the worlds fastest growing and most well developed microfinance sectors. The
transition of the sector from NGO projects to commercialization and later to an integral part of the main stream economy has
been assisted by the steady economic growth in the country, a favourable flow of foreign investment to the sector and the
supportive and long standing regulatory environment.
Although the flow of foreign funds to the sector was affected by the global financial crisis in the late 2000s, the Central
Banks permission to mobilize local deposits by registered MFIs has helped the recovery of many fund strapped microfinance
institutions.
The Transparent Pricing Initiative in Cambodia has published standardized pricing data from 14 microfinance providers,
representing the majority of Cambodias microfinance borrowers. Launched in 2009 the Initiative is delivered in partnership
with Planet Rating and is funded by the Netherlands Plaform for Microfinance. The initial data collection was sponsored by
MicroNed and TripleJump and supported by key local stakeholders including the Central bank of Cambodia and local network
organizations.
The price graph presented below shows the prices of all the microloan products in the Cambodia dataset. Each data-point
represents a real loan given to a real borrower, calculated using original loan documentation from the institution. The size
of the data-point correlates with the number of borrowers that have a loan of that product at that loan amount. The color of
the data-point correlates with the Transparency Index of the sample. The interactive legend beneath the graph can be used
to change the graph axis and labels. Try the custom feature to see price correlations with attributes such as loan purpose,
institution type, loan term and percent of gross national income.
The market average APR curve is relatively flat showing a limited range in price relative to loan size. This is mainly due
to improved efficiency and competition among microfinance institutions. One of the interesting features of Cambodian
microfinance is the relative absence of extra charges in fees and commissions. This, together with the outlawing of flat
interest rate shows that the industry has been practising a high level of transparency in its pricing.

Document cls Price Graphs, Transparent Pricing Initiative, MFTransparency, 2013


30 Midi de la microfinance

NOTES
Midi de la microfinance 31

NOTES
32 Midi de la microfinance

NOTES
Midi de la microfinance 33

Intervenants

Marek Hudon
Marek Hudon dtient un doctorat en Economie et en Sciences de gestion et une matrise
en philosophie. Il est actuellement professeur la Solvay Brussels School of Economics
et Management (SBS-EM), Universit Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgique. Il est galement
co-directeur du Centre Europen de Recherche en Microfinance (CERMi), et co-directeur
du Centre d'Etudes Economiques et Sociales de l'Environnement (CEESE). Il a initi et est
toujours coordinateur scientifique du European Microfinance Programme (EMP). Il a men des
recherches en Inde, le Kenya, le Mali, le Maroc, le Vietnam et la Rpublique dmocratique du
Congo.

Ses recherches portent principalement sur la microfinance, l'thique et l'entrepreneuriat social.

En 2009, il a reu la fois le prix CEDIMES pour des tudes post-doctorales et le prix Merlot-
Leclerq en conomie publique. En 2010, il a reu, en collaboration avec Marc Labie et Ariane
Szafarz, le Prix Wernaers pour la recherche et la diffusion des connaissances, par le FNRS.

Aldo Moauro
Aldo Moauro est un conomiste financier spcialis en microfinance qui compte plus de
quinze ans d'exprience dans ce domaine. Aldo est membre fondateur et Directeur excutif de
MicroFinanza Rating, lune des principales agences de notation spcialise en microfinance.
Avant de fonder MicroFinanza Rating, Aldo Moauro a travaill en tant que gestionnaire de
portefeuille de microfinance de ETIMOS, un consortium financier international, en charge du
portefeuille des investissements en microfinance.
Aldo Moauro dtient une vaste exprience en notation des institutions de microfinance.
Il a ralis plus de 150 missions d'valuation sur les 4 continents. Aldo est galement
spcialis en valuation de programmes, en assistance technique et de conseil ainsi quen
planification financire et stratgique. Une expertise quil a acquise dans divers pays d'Europe,
d'Amrique latine, du Moyen-Orient et dAfrique. Aldo preste rgulirement en tant que matre
de confrence dans certains des principaux programmes internationaux de formation en
microfinance, tels que Boulder.

Annexes Intervenants
34 Midi de la microfinance

Partenaires Luxembourg

tablie en 1920, la Banque de Luxembourg offre aux La Coopration luxembourgeoise au dveloppement


investisseurs privs et institutionnels son expertise en se place rsolument au service de lradication de
gestion de patrimoine en Europe et au Luxembourg. la pauvret, notamment dans les pays les moins
Le conseil en philanthropie prolonge lengagement avancs. Ses actions sinscrivent prioritairement
de la banque aux cts de ses clients pour mener dans la mise en oeuvre - dici 2015 - des objectifs
bien leurs projets toutes les tapes de leur vie. Son du millnaire pour le dveloppement. Ainsi les
savoir-faire et sa philosophie en gestion dactifs sont principaux secteurs dintervention de la coopration
particulirement adapts aux besoins des fondations relvent du domaine social : la sant, lducation,
qui recherchent une performance rgulire sur le long y compris la formation et linsertion professionnelle
terme, double dune protection de leur capital et de et le dveloppement local intgr. Les initiatives
leurs niveaux de dotation. pertinentes dans le domaine de la microfinance sont
encourages et appuyes, que ce soit au niveau
La banque offre galement une gamme complte conceptuel ou au niveau oprationnel. La Coopration
de vhicules dinvestissement spcialiss en impact luxembourgeoise offre notamment son appui financier
financing, qui refltent la comptence de la Place pour lorganisation des Midis de la microfinance au
financire luxembourgeoise en matire de fonds Luxembourg.
dinvestissement. La Banque de Luxembourg sest
de tout temps comporte en acteur responsable et
engag au sein de la communaut luxembourgeoise. Ministre des Affaires trangres
Elle a tout particulirement souhait contribuer au Direction de la Coopration
dveloppement au Luxembourg de la philanthropie,
de lentrepreneuriat social et de limpact financing. 6, rue de la Congrgation
Le soutien quelle apporte ADA dans le cadre des L-1352 Luxembourg
Midi de la Microfinance sinscrit dans ce contexte. Tel : (+352) 247-82351
Fax : (+352) 46 38 42
www.mae.lu/cooperation
Banque de Luxembourg

14, Boulevard Royal


L-2449 Luxembourg
Tl : (+352) 499 24-1
Fax : (+352) 499 24 55 99
www.banquedeluxembourg.com
www.philanthropie.lu

Annexes Partenaires Luxembourg


Midi de la microfinance 35

With the background of a persistent commitment by


the Luxembourg Government towards microfinance
and inclusive finance, the Luxembourg Round Table on
Microfinance (LRTM) was initiated by the Directorate
for Development Cooperation in collaboration with a
number of specialized NGOs with the objective to act
as a catalyst for regular interactions between the main
players in the field of microfinance and inclusive finance
in Luxembourg.

The originality of this initiative consists in bringing


together representatives from the private sector, from
the public sector and from civil society in a multi actor
forum, thus confronting a large variety of views, resulting
from these actors different mandates, convictions
and experiences, without losing focus on the common
absolute goal that is the development and the spread of
microfinance and inclusive finance.

The general objective of the LRTM is to maintain a high


level of know-how and knowledge management in the
field of microfinance and inclusive finance, both seen
as a tool to fight poverty around the globe as well as
an economic opportunity through socially responsible
investments, in view of enhancing the coherence
between LRTM members activities.

Secretariat of the Luxembourg Round Table on


Microfinance

BP 2273
L-1022 Luxembourg
tel | +352.29.58.58.255
fax| +352.29.58.58.200
contact@lrtm.lu
www.lrtm.lu

Annexes Partenaires Luxembourg


36 Midi de la microfinance

Partenaires Bruxelles

Febelfin, i.e. the Belgian Financial Sector Federation, KBC is an integrated bancassurance group, catering
wants to take up the challenge of playing an important mainly for retail customers, small and medium-sized
role as a go-between for its members on the one hand enterprises and private banking clientele. It occupies
and several parties at the national and European level leading positions on its home markets of Belgium
on the other hand, such as policy-makers, supervisory andCentral and Eastern Europe, where it specialises
authorities, trade associations and pressure groups. in retail bancassurance and asset management
activities, as well as in the provision of services to
Febelfin closely follows trends and developments and businesses. The group is also active in a selection
helps its members in taking up the right position. The of other countries in Europe in private banking and
Federation provides its members with information and services to businesses. Elsewhere around the globe,
guidance in fields such as product technology, law, the group has established a presence in selected
taxation, prudential supervision and social law. countries and regions.

For further information, please contact: For further information, please contact:
Ivo VAN BULCK Veerle Demol
Director Commercial Banking CSr Communications Officer

Febelfin KBC

Aarlenstraat 82 - 1040 Brussels Belgium Havenlaan 2, 1080 Brussels - Belgium


Tel : +32 2 507 68 91 - Fax 32 2 507 69 92 Group Communication
e-mail : Ivo.Van.Bulck@febelfin.be Tel: +32 2 429 22 21
www.febelfin.be E-mail: veerle.demol@kbc.be
www.kbc.com

Annexes Partenaires Bruxelles


Midi de la microfinance 37

Cera is not a bank anymore. Cera is a co-operative with Assuralia is the industry association of insurance
around half a million members. We invest in community and reinsurance companies operating on the Belgian
projects at regional, national and international level that market. It was established in 1920 and its membership
reflect the values of our co-operative, viz. collaboration, represents nearly all direct business on the domestic
solidarity and respect for the individual. The targeted market. It includes co-operative, mutual and joint-stock
areas of investment are: poverty and social exclusion, companies of both local and foreign origin. Some of
Cera Competence Centre for Businesses, Art and its members focus on specific lines of business (like
culture, Agriculture, horticulture and the countryside, workmens compensation insurance) while others
Medical and social, local education initiatives and offer a diversified range of general and life insurance
Solidarity-based banking and insurance in developing (insurance companies are the most important providers
countries through BRS. of occupational retirement schemes in Belgium). Its
purpose is to represent the interests of its members at
Cera has a shareholding of over 30% in KBC Group. national and international level and to promote insurance
as a solution for societal needs as well as for those of
For further information, please contact: businesses and retail consumers. Along with vocational
Hilde Talloen training, joint studies and lobbying, Assuralia is in charge
Communication Co-ordinator of dialogue with all stakeholders, representatives of
civil society and public authorities involved in insurance
issues. It has no commercial activities, but has been
Cera instrumental in developing common service platforms
meeting its members needs.
Philipssite 5 b10, 3001 Leuven-Belgium
Tel. + 32 16 27 96 79 For further contact:
Fax + 32 16 27 96 91 Wauthier Robyns
E-mail : Hilde.Talloen@cera.be Member of the Management Committee
www.cera.be

Assuralia

De Meeussquare 29, 1000 Brussels


Tl.: +32 2 547 56 90
E-mail: wauthier.robyns@assuralia.be
www.assuralia.be

Annexes Partenaires Bruxelles


ADA en bref
Inclusive Finance. Increasing Autonomy. Improving Lives.

Lapproche ADA Historique : une ong pionnire


Cre en 1994, ADA compte parmi les
Depuis plus de dix-huit ans, lOrganisation non gouvernementale ONG pionnires de la microfinance au
(ONG) ADA joue un rle de premier plan dans le secteur de la Luxembourg. Les fondateurs dADA taient
finance inclusive au Luxembourg et au-del des frontires. des particuliers qui souhaitaient mettre leur
expertise financire au service de la lutte
ADA est un partenaire de choix pour lappui au dveloppement contre la pauvret. Soucieux de respecter
lautonomie des populations, ils privilgirent
autonome des populations exclues des services financiers
lappui aux institutions de microfinance
traditionnels. dans les pays en dveloppement plutt
que lassistance.
Les services dADA pour le renforcement des capacits des IMF
profitent prs de 150 institutions de microfinance. Toutes ces
actions visent un seul et mme but : lutter contre la pauvret.
Sous le haut patronage de son
Altesse Royale la Grande-Duchesse

Notre mandat avec ADA bnficie depuis 2007 du Haut


Patronage de S.A.R. la Grande-Duchesse

la Coopration
Maria Teresa de Luxembourg. La Grande-
Duchesse sengage activement dans la lutte
contre la pauvret extrme, notamment par

luxembourgeoise la promotion dinitiatives dans les domaines


du social business et de la microfinance.

Le renouvellement du mandat de la Coopration au dveloppement


du Luxembourg pour la priode 2012-2016 constitue une tape impor-
tante ouvrant de nouvelles perspectives. Outre les trois thmatiques
historiques de lassociation que sont linnovation de services financiers
inclusifs, le renforcement des capacits et linvestissement en finance
inclusive, ADA entend renforcer son rle en matire de recherche
et dveloppement dune part ; et en matire de gestion des
connaissances dautre part.
Working together on microfinance
and microinsurance
BRS supports microfinance and microinsurance projects in the South to help
sustainably improve the quality of life of the poorer population in the South.
Not merely with cash, but more specifically with advice and in a dialogue with the
stakeholders.
Last year, BRS supported 14 projects in 11 developing countries, with more
than 600 000 euros worth of financial aid, 300 days of advice, training
days, bank guarantees and a hundred computers. And this was not a one-
time success: for 20 years, BRS has been active in developing countries,
supporting local initiatives for saving, credit and insurance based on
cooperative principles. A conscious choice.

Micro what?
Three billion people on this planet still do not have access to financial
Bankassurance: the African way services. Microfinance and micro-insurance organisations in developing
countries offer a solution, by developing services for non-creditworthy
Through Belgian non-governmental and uninsurable people. These are not miniature-sized financial
organisation (NGO) Louvain institutions, but rather organisations with a specific business model.
Coopration, BRS is supporting the Credit activities are often preceded by training. After all, its impossible
launch of a health mutual in the West- to imagine setting up a medical insurance business without investing in
African country of Benin. Thanks to health prevention. Other organisations offer bank insurance model avant
that mutual, the members only pay la lettre (see insert).
a quarter of the price for visits to a
doctor and prescription medicines! BRS: launched with 100 years of experience
The medical insurance that covers all The basic conditions in the developing countries in which these
other expenses costs three euros per organisations are set up are, on the whole, similar to the situation during
year. Since this financial threshold the early years of what used to be the cooperative CERA Bank, in the late
was lowered, the members of the 19th century. In 1992, on the occasion of the banks 100th anniversary,
mutual health insurance go sooner to Belgische Raiffeisenstichting (or BRS) was formed. A hundred years of
the doctor when they are ill. experience with cooperative banking and later insurance would be
made available to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and microinsurance
Local microfinance institution CMEC institutions working according to principles of solidarity.
(Caisse Mutuelle dEpargne et de
Crdit) concluded an agreement with Unique position: offering both finance and advice
the mutuals: clients are only eligible BRSs experience of organising savings and credit groups and setting
for a line of credit of 45 euros or more up cooperative structures is a real help when supervising projects.
if they place one third of the sum in a Its close link with the KBC group allows BRS to tap into a valuable
savings account and if they take out source of banking and insurance know-how. A group of KBC managers
the medical insurance. In this way, and executives volunteer their expertise and experience to BRS as
CMEC encourages everyone to join consultants. They assist BRS in researching new projects and evaluating
the mutual. Such agreements are also existing projects. They not only study the files, but also visit the actual
very interesting for savings and credit projects. While the projects are under development, they assist and
cooperatives. The medical insurance advise their fellow bankers in the southern hemisphere at strategic
means that borrowers are less likely moments.
to encounter unforeseen payment
difficulties, as their costs in the event Training and awareness
of illness are limited. This results in With its up-to-date knowledge of banking and insurance combined with
a much greater likelihood that the its years of experience of cooperative projects, BRS has the perfect know-
credit will be repaid to CMEC. how in-house to create specific training material and to offer courses on
micro-financing, both in the southern and northern hemispheres.
(See the movie A day in Honhou The topics addressed include the cooperative concept, saving, credit,
(Benin) on www.brs.coop) insurance and financial analysis. This makes BRS more than simply a
financier of projects, but rather a true partner, that counsels and assists
start-up organisations during the growing pains and other problems,
with a group of interested and active supporters in Belgium.
Leverage
BRS also calls on the expertise of Belgian NGOs in the selection and monitoring
of microfinance and microinsurance projects. Organisations such as Trias, SOS
Faim and Louvain Coopration have their own staff on the field to take care of
the daily supervision of the projects. Moreover, thanks to this cooperation, BRS
can avail itself of a great deal of financial leverage. The Belgian and European
authorities contribute several times the amounts contributed by BRS. Half a
million euros of aid becomes over two million euros by the time it reaches the
ultimate beneficiaries: a fantastic return!

Guarantee fund
BRS believes it important that microfinance institutions have connections with
established local financial institutions, and vice versa. BRSs guarantee fund
helps to realise this objective: it covers lines of credit extended to microfinance
institutions by local banks or financial institutions. This cover is subject to the
condition, however, that those local banks also bear part of the risk. Experience
shows that this is not an easy condition, but that it is possible. In Ethiopia, after
almost 18 months of negotiations, BRS succeeded in reaching an agreement
with Awash Bank to bear 45% of the risk for a line of credit granted to the MFI
Wasasa. Thanks to a 90 000 euro guarantee, Wasasa has a line of credit in the
amount of 200 000 euros, which it uses to meet the credit demands of over
2 000 clients.

Prosperity and wellbeing


BRS is convinced that savings and credit facilities should not be goals in and of
themselves, but instead should serve as a tool not only for increasing prosperity
but also for focusing on peoples wellbeing. That focus on development as
human beings, which is now part of programmes such as Grameenbank, has
always been an important factor for cooperatives. The savings and credit
activities must, however, be founded in healthy business principles, and the
sector must be aware that it cannot solve all forms of money shortages with
credit. Credit approvals have to be based on prudent credit applications, not
just on formal or informal guarantees.

Long-term commitment
Sadly, the financial resources that are set aside for microfinance by various
development programmes and investors also mean that young, promising
organisations are forced to grow too quickly. Structures such as cooperatives,
which involve their members in their policy decisions, threaten to fall behind
because of their decision-making and control processes.
In addition, the influence on the policies of external financiers is often greater
than that of the organisations own members. Under those conditions, such
For further information, organisations are given little opportunity to develop their own dynamics.
That is why BRS consciously opts for direct cooperation and a longer-term
contact:
commitment.
Microfinance
History as a source of inspiration
Kurt Moors - 016 27 96 43
A lot of water has passed under the bridge, but F.W. Raiffeisens principles still
kurt.moors@brs.coop
apply to this day. BRS does not look back for the sake of nostalgia, but considers
history to be a source of inspiration in the support it provides.
Microinsurance
BRS still uses its knowledge and insight in offering the necessary support to
Bert Opdebeeck - 016 27 96 13
start-up savings, credit and insurance institutions in the southern hemisphere.
bert.opdebeeck@brs.coop
In this way, the past gives these organisations a future to believe in.
www.brs.coop
********************
Address
ADA asbl2, rue Sainte ZitheL-2763 Luxembourg

Contact
Tel +352 45 68 68 1Fax +352 45 68 68 68
adainfo@microfinance.lu

Bank
CCP LU64 1111 1189 2705 0000
BIC/Swift CCPLLULL

www.microfinance.lu

En collaboration avec : Avec le soutien de :

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