While a recent report by two civil society groups in Cambodia outlining predatory practices by local microfinance institutions (MFIs) may not paint the clearest picture of the sector, there is no denying that there are murky waters ahead.The report by the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) and local NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) documented numerous cases of coerced land sales, child labour, debt-driven migration, food insecurity and other human
With Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam alone hosting over 10 percent of the world’s unbanked population, providing the right infrastructure to bridge this gap is key to ASEAN’s sustained growth.The unbanked and underserved form a significant part of ASEAN’s population, with research firm CB Insights recently stating that just 47 percent of adults in ASEAN had a bank account while only a third of the region’s SMEs had access to loans or lines of credit last year. The region’s financi
Microfinance is a service where financial institutions back small start-ups and would-be entrepreneurs with small loans, often times referred to as microloans. Such initiatives are most popular in the poorest parts of the world. By distributing small loans and accepting small savings amounts, microfinancing empowers those below the poverty line to improve their livelihoods.
Much has been written about the importance of financial inclusion for rural communities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam. The benefits are obvious even to armchair economists.
Microfinance is described by the Financial Times Lexicon as a service where financial institutions will back small start-ups and would-be entrepreneurs with small loans, in the poorest parts of the world. In Southeast Asia, the biggest microfinance players currently include Asia Pacific-based LenddoEFL, Singapore's CredoLab and the Philippines’ Lendr, for example. To add to this mix, Singapore-based ride-hailing service Grab will now join the fray.