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Jorge Solís: “Financial inclusion must be on the public agenda”

The president of Caja Huancayo, Jorge Solís, explains the environment in which microfinance institutions operate and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the exit of thousands of clients from the financial sector. Hence, he demands to prioritize financial inclusion, but with specific rules and policies.

What is the situation of microfinance institutions?

The pandemic has affected the entire economy, but more vulnerable sectors. During the pandemic, more than 500 thousand clients have left the financial sector, in what is consumer credit. And with regard to micro and small entrepreneurs, that is, in the mype creditshas been reduced by more than 100 thousand.

What do you recommend?

The challenge is to make financial inclusion a priority on the public agenda. In 2015 the national strategy for financial inclusion was approved and in 2019 the national policy was approved, but it has not been on the agenda of policymakers. The appointment of Oscar Graham as Minister of the Economy encourages us because he knows the history of microfinance.

What would be the mechanism to follow?

For it to have an impact as a tool for an inclusive social economy, specific policies are required, and this happens because the actors linked to the economy and the financial system, such as the Ministry of Economy, the Central Reserve Bankthe Congress and the Superintendence of Banking and Insurance, issue regulations to promote it and reverse the growth of banking.

Concrete measures in this regard?

From the SBS that regulations be promoted that allow the strengthening of microfinance entities to leverage credit. Regulation proportional to the size of financial entities is also required. In addition, more competition in the financial market to achieve greater supply. There is no better way to regulate interest rates than to widen the market. Even conditions are needed, for example, that the savings banks can issue credit cards.

How do microfinance institutions cover risks?

The bank covers itself from the risk by raising interest rates and demanding guarantees. We have a technology that allows us to better evaluate the client without the need to ask for guarantees. We have a better risk management policy because we know and manage the risks in sectors C, D and E that are not being addressed.

Was emergency decree 037 useful to you in strengthening microfinance institutions?

It has many imperfections. Proportional and sectoral reinforcement measures must be given. Microfinance entities respond to different regulations and organizational models. The reality of cooperatives, finance companies, rural cooperatives and municipal savings banks must be recognized.

There are now two bills in Congress…

Yes, but they have not been boosted. One of them establishes the need to purchase portfolios through the BCR and the MEF. That is to say, that the portfolios of micro and small companies that cannot meet their obligations be temporarily purchased. In addition, through this operation liquidity is provided to financial companies so that they lend money. We are talking about at least three billion soles.

Source: Larepublica


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