Market Outlook 2012: Perspectives of Microfinance Association Leaders

Identifying important priorities, threats, and risks facing the microfinance sector worldwide
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This Market Outlook shares insights from 37 directors of microfinance associations (MFAs) around the globe on the direction of microfinance over the next 1,2–18 months. It publishes results from the Market Outlook survey conducted by SEEP in the beginning of 2012. The survey invited responses from over 4,000 MFIs worldwide. Survey results highlighted the role of MFAs in building the capacity of MFIs, promoting consensus in defining industry standards, serving as local repositories of information and knowledge, mitigating credit risk and over-indebtedness, and promoting credit bureaus. Common themes that emerged from the survey included:

  • Intertwining of priorities and threats, although they manifest differently in different regions;
  • Importance of the role of government, in areas such as regulation, political interference, subsidized lending, and political and economic instability;
  • Competition and its effects in different countries, some positive, such as better products and services, and some negative, such as overindebtedness;
  • Renewed focus on the client, seen in areas such as the adoption of codes of conduct, and emphasis on social performance management.