Microfinance Leader FINCA Azerbaijan Receives Smart Certification for Client Protection
August 27, 2015, Baku and Washington, DC – Today FINCA Azerbaijan announced it has received Client Protection Certification by the Smart Campaign. This global initiative certifies the adoption of high ethical standards in the treatment of clients in the microfinance industry. FINCA Azerbaijan joins FINCA Kyrgyzstan and an exclusive group of 41 certified financial institutions worldwide.
“A strong commitment to responsible banking and a focus on the long-term well-being of our clients are embedded in FINCA’s mission and throughout our operations. We have adopted strict internal standards and policies to help ensure that clients do not become over-indebted and that they are always treated fairly and ethically,” said Tim Tarrant, CEO of FINCA Azerbaijan.
FINCA Azerbaijan received the certification in recognition of FINCA’s commitment to the best interests of clients, which includes institutionalizing the Smart Campaign’s seven Client Protection Principles. These principles include: appropriate product design and delivery, prevention of over-indebtedness, transparency, responsible pricing, fair and respectful treatment of clients, privacy of client data, and mechanisms for complaint resolution. MicroFinanza Rating, a Smart Campaign licensed independent rater, conducted the certification.
According to Isabelle Barrès, Director of the Smart Campaign, “FINCA Azerbaijan’s certification status comes on the heels of extensive work by the institution’s staff and demonstrates its focus on its clients throughout the country. We’re proud that FINCA Azerbaijan has positioned itself as a leader in the field of client protection and we are encouraged by its commitment to embedding client protection practices into its institutional culture.”
About FINCA International
FINCA International’s mission is to alleviate poverty through lasting solutions that help people build assets, create jobs and raise their standard of living. Together with leading, socially responsible investment partners, FINCA owns and operates a network of microfinance institutions serving nearly 2 million clients in 23 countries.
About FINCA Azerbaijan LLC
FINCA Azerbaijan LLC is the leading non-bank microfinance institution in Azerbaijan, operating in the country since 1998 under limited license from the National Bank of Azerbaijan. FINCA Azerbaijan provides financial services to nearly 150,000 active clients through its 67 branches covering the country, with a gross loan portfolio of more than USD 170 million.