Responding to the Regional Financial Crisis: Practical Strategies for Managing Risk While Planning for Growth

Proceedings from the conference “Encuentro Centroamericano de Microfinanzas,” September 10-11, 2009
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This report describes the conference proceedings of Encuentro Centroamericano de Microfinanzas organized by the Citi Foundation, ACCION International and REDCAMIF.

The conference had seven panels, each focusing on an issue relevant to microfinance practitioners in Central America. Discussion topics included practical experiences in responding to the regional financial crisis, funding microfinance in Central America, learning from previous financial crises in Latin America, results from Microfinance Banana Skins 2009, guidelines for consumer protection in microfinance, collaborating to promote financial inclusion and success strategies for the future.

Panelists made recommendations to address the challenged that the microfinance industry faces. They include:

  • Management based on long-term, strategic vision;
  • Adjustments to institutional strategy;
  • Financial stability through liquidity management and diversification of funding sources;
  • Rigorous credit methodology;
  • Client-centric products and services;
  • Internal focus on transparency and governance;
  • Attention to MFIs’ social performance;
  • Transformation of all MFIs into regulated institutions for mobilizing savings;
  • Relationship-building with regulators;
  • Unity within the industry and joint efforts to achieve common goals.