Microfinance in the Caribbean
This paper presents the minutes of the round table conference held at Port of Spain in March 2002. The roundtable was attended by microfinance (MF) practitioners, both from NGOs and the commercial sector, representatives of retail banks, investment funds, finance houses and central bankers, a few multilateral organizations and some donors. Some of the key matters taken up during the conference were:
- Sustainability and Out-reach Threats and Constraints: There are about 20 institutions practising MF in Caribbean.
- Their costs are high and portfolio quality is poor,
- They barely charge what they would need to be viable,
- Their scale is small, salaries high and a bigger commercial banking sector leaves a very small fringe for microfinance institutions (MFIs).
- Current and Future Challenges for MFI in the Caribbean: The challenges are:
- Improve knowledge of best practices in commercial MF,
- Improve policy environment, develop a 'Caribbeanized breakthrough demonstration model' and,
- Innovate and develop new financial products that take advantage of the special characteristics of the Caribbean marketplace.
- Role of the International and Regional Development Banks: They can assist in obtaining methodology, funding, improving efficiency and internal control.
Action Plan for the CaribbeanThis paper presents the proceedings of the first-ever roundtable on microfinance in the Caribbean, Organized by MICROFIN, Caribbean
- Framework for Co-operation - Donor practice - coordination,
- Best practice and appropriate level of support,
- Removal of government practice from market distortion,
- Improving access of MFI information through credit bureaus.
This paper presents the proceedings of the first-ever roundtable on microfinance in the Caribbean, Organized by MICROFIN, Caribbean.