Financial Access Initiative, 6-13 February 2012
I have a confession to make. When I began composing this blog, I approached it with a fairly simple hypothesis: Microfinance institutions (MFIs) that engage in large-scale deposit taking must likewise grow their loan portfolios. After all, deposits are a source of funding with high operational cost that must be appropriately offset by growing revenue, and only microfinance portfolios provide yields high enough to achieve that. And because many poor families have a higher demand for savings services than for credit, the resulting over-liquidity could push MFIs into unsustainable portfolio growth, eventually leading to the very credit bubbles that microsavings advocates are trying to avoid.
It seems a reasonable enough hypothesis, and sufficiently controversial to be interesting. Trouble is, it’s not true. Reality turns out to be more complicated. more →