Concept

XVIII National Conference on Microfinance and Financial Inclusion "Microfinance: Time for Adult Decisions"

The XVIII National Conference on microfinance and financial inclusion will be held in St. Petersburg on 27-29 November 2019.

This year, the Conference celebrates its eighteenth anniversary. Eighteen is a symbolic number in our culture because it marks the age of maturity. The title of the Conference "Microfinance: Time for Adult Decisions” reflects this important milestone for both NAMMS and the entire microfinance industry.

Recent changes in relevant laws and regulations and the overall economic situation left no place in the microfinance market for short-lived providers, be it microcredit or microfinance companies, consumer cooperatives or pawnshops. All microfinance market participants who still hold on in this difficult time have come here to stay.

Now it's time for adult decisions, time to take responsibility. This responsibility must be recognized and implemented by all participants in the process.

For microfinance providers, responsibility means diligent compliance with applicable legislation and concern for consumers.

For microfinance consumers, responsibility means a realistic assessment of one's capabilities and conscientious fulfillment of obligations.

For investors, responsibility means a good understanding of the target company’s business and related risks.

For the legislator, responsibility means commitment to developing and adopting legislation capable of benefitting society in the long run.

For the regulator, responsibility means timely action to prevent non-compliance and to deal with the consequences of company liquidations.

This integrated approach is essential for long-term advancement of the financial system and for achieving real financial inclusion.

The idea of responsibility and its consistent implementation will be a common thread running through the Conference sessions and giving its participants the energy and inspiration to carry on and build on their good work.

Financial literacy will be an important focus of the Conference. Many MFOs, CCCs and pawnshops have seamlessly integrated financial education into their communications with customers – and not only with customers. A financially literate borrower is aware that debt must be repaid, while a financially literate prosecutor knows that credit cooperatives do not need to be checked for compliance with the Law on Microfinance Organizations. But financial literacy measures will add value only if their implementation is based on a conscious and realistic approach. The Conference will discuss financial literacy tools and strategies which really work.

The following priority topics will be discussed at the Conference:

  •  Supervisory reform and its effects for the microfinance market
  •  Current and expected changes in the microfinance market regulation which concern all market participants, including MFIs, CCCs, ACCCs and pawnshops, and how these changes will affect business processes. Current issues in business conduct supervision
  •  Promoting financial literacy and responsible conduct of all parties concerned, such as microfinance institutions, the regulator, lawmakers, and customers
  •  Building trust in the microfinance industry and protecting financial consumer rights. Industry problems through the eyes of consumers
  •  The financial ombudsman's role and functions in the light of current legislative changes
  •  A strategic plan for the development of microfinance organizations, credit consumer cooperatives and pawnshops in Russia in 2019-2022
  •  Promoting effective performance of MFOs lending to entrepreneurs as part of the national project "Small and medium-sized enterprise and support of individual entrepreneurial initiative”
  •  Building a joint action plan shared by all market segments to improve the public image of microfinance and to position all MFIs as fully legitimate participants in the financial system
  •  Fundamental changes in the Bank of Russia reporting procedure after transition to a new chart of accounts and implementation of XBRL
  •  Real-life examples of the implementation of various management systems (from flow to agile) in microfinance, techniques for building useful management skills and the use of external consulting to solve managerial problems
  •  Marketing, PR and SMM as essential tools for maintaining and increasing your company's market share
  •  Specific features, advantages and prospects of MFO, CCC and pawnshop operations in the regions, particularly in small cities and towns.

The plenary session “Supervisory reform. What's in it for the market? What's in it for the customer?" will bring together all regulators: the heads of key departments of the Bank of Russia and the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, and representatives of the Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection, the Accounts Chamber, the Federal Bailiff Service, the Prosecutor's Office and other authorities. The purpose of the session is to develop a uniform approach to regulation and supervision of MCCs, MFCs, CCCs and pawnshops.

The topics chosen for the sessions are designed to help the Conference participants gain in-depth knowledge in the areas of MCC, MFC, CCC and pawnshop regulation and to advance their skills in building sustainable businesses.