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Women’s World Banking & Good Return partner to drive financial inclusion for women across the Asia Pacific region

21 December 2015

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Good Return and Women’s World Banking marked the commencement of their strategic partnership at the Asia Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit in Manila (27-29 Oct). The two organizations will work together to achieve greater and more meaningful financial inclusion of women across the Asia Pacific region. The partnership will bring women’s voices into the conversation to enhance financial products and services.

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With over 47 years of experience between them, Good Return and Women’s World Banking will jointly promote women’s financial inclusion at all levels—from national regulators through to grassroots financial service providers—across the Asia Pacific region through a gender-responsive approach to designing, delivering and evaluating financial services.

Guy Winship, CEO of Good Return, said that it was time for all players in the financial sector to step up their efforts on promoting women’s financial inclusion.

“With over 1.2 billion people living in poverty, and women and girls being disproportionately affected, we need to do more to understand their preferences and needs, as well as the barriers they face, in order to provide impactful financial products and services that will help break the cycle of poverty,” said Winship. “How will we know if we are meeting women’s preferences and needs? It all starts with quality gender-based data.”

When reviewing organizational processes or delivering any financial service—be it financial education programs or mobile banking—it is imperative to be able to draw on quality data, both quantitative and qualitative, that paints the full picture. At the Summit, Women’s World Banking and Good Return guided participants through an interactive workshop, exploring the power of quality gender-based data. The workshop introduced participants to Women’s World Banking’s Gender Performance Initiative. The initiative provides key gender-based social and financial indicators that can help financial service providers better understand how to serve their women clients.

“If financial service providers are committed to serving women clients, then they should measure how well they are serving them,” said Jaclyn Berfond, a research, monitoring and evaluation specialist at Women’s World Banking. “The Gender Performance Initiative represents a critical first step to ensure that data is used to improve interventions for women, and Women’s World Banking and Good Return are excited to work together around this initiative.”###

About Women’s World Banking and Good Return:

Women’s World Banking is the global not-for-profit devoted to giving more low-income women access to the financial tools
and resources they require to build security and prosperity. Good Return is an initiative of World Education Australia, a notfor-profit
enabling people living in poverty in the Asia Pacific region to achieve economic empowerment through
responsible financial inclusion and capability development.

Media Contacts:

 

Jessie Fisher
Good Return
Tel: +61 4 31 227 140
Email: [email protected]
For more information: goodreturn.org.au

Maura Hart
Women’s World Banking
Tel: +1 212 556 3156
Email: [email protected]
For more information: womensworldbanking.org

Download the media release in PDF.

 

TPC the first Microfinance Institution in Cambodia Certified for Commitment to Client Protection

10 June 2015, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Thaneakea Phum (Cambodia), Ltd. (TPC) has been formally recognized as “Client Protection Certified” by the Smart Campaign for meeting strong standards of client care. TPC is the first microfinance institution (MFI) in Cambodia to be awarded this prestigious certification and one of the 10 MFIs pursuing such recognition supported by funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) under the “Client Protection Initiative” project implemented by Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA).

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An official award ceremony took place at the Royal Angkor Resort on 10th June 2015. His Excellency Kim Vada, Director General of National Bank of Cambodia, awarded the certificate to TPC’s CEO, congratulating him on TPC’s commitment to protecting the clients.

Client Protection initiative is aiming to contribute to the stability and promotion of responsible finance with a view to ensuring a sustainable growth for the microfinance sector in Cambodia. Among several actions aimed at fighting against the risk of clients’ over-indebtedness, CMA is disseminating and ensuring the implementation of the Client Protection Principles (CPPs) in which CMA has been supporting top 10 MFIs in Cambodia to achieve Client Protection Certification through Smart Campaign.

The Smart Campaign is a global initiative which exists to ensure strong client-protection practices in the microfinance industry. The Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Certification program publicly recognizes institutions providing financial services to low-income households, whose standards of care uphold the Smart Campaign’s seven Client Protection Principles covering important areas such as pricing, transparency, fair and respectful treatment and prevention of over-indebtedness. The certification program contains a rigorous set of standards against which institutions are evaluated by independent, third-party raters that are licensed by the Smart Campaign. More information about Smart Campaign, visit: www.smartcampaign.org

In order to meet the strict guidelines outlined by the Smart Campaign for certification, TPC worked under the overall coordination of CMA and AFD with the Technical Assistance from Smart Campaign and Good Return over the past year. Working in partnership with TPC, Good Return provided technical assistance in the areas of: financial client protection, poverty measurement and reporting and financial capability development of clients.

Mr. Sok Voeurn, CEO of TPC, said: “At TPC we are thrilled to be first Cambodian microfinance institution to secure certification from the Smart Campaign. TPC is committed to poverty alleviation in Cambodia. With the needs of our clients as our number one priority, as an organization we have made a significant investment in building our client protection practices. We have reached our goal of certification by working in partnership with CMA under the Technical Assistance from Smart Campaign/Good Return and value their technical assistance. TPC is proud to be a role model for other institutions in Cambodia who are also committed to positive outcomes for their clients.”

Mr. Yun Sovanna, General Secretary of CMA, said: “I congratulate TPC for this historic achievement, and strongly believe that together with the remaining MFIs under this initiative, they are becoming the champion for the other MFIs on pathway toward Smart Certification. I’d love to thank to AFD for the financial support and my colleague, Mr. Ear Techkung, as the project manager for overall coordination.”

A Snapshot of TPC’S Clients as of 2014

  • 85% are women
  • 60% of TPC’s clients work in agriculture
  • TPC became fifth largest MFI in Cambodia
  • TPC has 189,000 clients with total portfolio of $115 million

Example TPC Activities to Achieve Certification

  • Improved individual cash flow analysis and credit history checks in conjunction with the National Credit Bureau to help prevent clients from over-indebtedness.
  • Implementation of complaint handling policy and system to resolve client’s grievances.
  • Improved Client Data Privacy Policy to increase the security of client information.
  • The Code of Conduct was made more robust to ensure the ongoing fair treatment of clients.
  • A formalized policy was implemented to allow clients to restructure their loans if they are difficulty making repayments.
  • Client loan contracts were simplified in order to make them more easy for clients to understanding

About Thaneakea Phum (Cambodia), Ltd. (TPC)

TPC is a rapidly growing, regulated microfinance institution. The fifth largest microfinance institution in Cambodia, TPC has a network of 60 offices, serving more than 190,000 clients across a portfolio exceeding 139 million USD. TPC’s focus is on serving entrepreneurs and families at the base of the socio-economic pyramid, providing economic opportunities to transform the quality of their lives. For more information about TPC, visit: www.tpc.com.kh

About Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA)

The Cambodia Microfinance Association is an NGO and professional association that aims to ensure the prosperity and sustainability of the microfinance sector in Cambodia. CMA plays a vital role in creating local and international networks as well as seeking equity and loan funds, new technologies and overseeing conflict resolution between microfinance operators. For more information about CMA, visit: www.cma-network.org

About French Development Agency (AFD)

AFD is a public development finance institution 100% hold by the French State that has been working to fight poverty and foster economic growth in developing countries and overseas territories for more than seventy years. In Cambodia since 1993, AFD has been supporting the microfinance sector as from the beginning for an accessible and inclusive finance. For more information about AFD, visit: www.afd.fr/lang/en/home

About Good Return

Established in 2003, Good Return is a non-profit organization that works across the Asia Pacific to deliver economic and social development programs for the financially and socially excluded. Sharing with others the vision of a world without poverty, Good Return is proud to be one of the leading supporters of financial inclusion across the Asia Pacific region. Good Return is an affiliate of World Education, and has its head office in Sydney, Australia. For more information about Good Return’s programs, visit: http://programs.goodreturn.org

Download the media release in PDF.