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Banks Look to Expand Microfinance Services

andyg 于2007-06-24发布 l 已有人浏览
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&raquo Download Audio(mp3) By Jill Moss 2007-6-24 This is the VOA Special English Development Report. O

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by jill moss
2007-6-24

this is the voa special english development report.

officials from some of the world's leading banks were in the netherlands last week for a conference on microfinance lending. the dutch government and the nonprofit organization women's world banking organized the two-day meeting.

mary ellen iskenderian is president of new york-based women's world banking. she told us from the hague that people generally think of microfinance only as credit -- a small loan to start a business. but she says her group has found more and more demand for other kinds of services. the organization is working with banks to offer products like, for example, life insurance policies.

she says the question is not if commercial banks can offer microfinance services in a profitable way. the question is how. the bankers discussed things like the use of mobile phone technology in banking, and the ability of banks to offer services in rural areas. could people do their banking at the point of sale in a village store, for example?

the meeting brought together representatives of the global network for banking innovation. women's world banking formed this network six years ago. it says the aim is to guarantee responsible lending to poor borrowers.

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