Microfinance among the Populists

> Posted by Anita Gardeva
In her latest Huffington Post blog , the Center’s Managing Director, Elisabeth Rhyne, discusses the range of microfinace regulation practices throughout Latin America and their potential impact on the industry and the client.

Populist governments across Latin America are re-shaping the environment in which microfinance institutions (MFIs) provide financial services to low income people. The proposals of these governments are similar -interest rate caps that are politically attractive but unfeasible, public intervention in financial services (as they have nationalized other industries) and a politicized approach to credit.

What may be surprising to those of us watching Latin America from afar is that not all the populists are alike. ACCION Network members, a group of 25 leading MFIs from across the region met last week in Barranquilla, Colombia to compare notes. They report wide differences from country to country. In some countries the populists take an approach that is makes it hard for MFIs to continue operating while in others they are willing to work more constructively with the providers.
Read the article…