PROGRAM

DRAFT CONFERENCE AGENDA

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

27.11.19

09:30-14:00

OPening of the XVII Legal Forum PLenary Session

Breakout sessions of the Legal Forum

Commercial MFOs

Non-commercial MFOs

CCs and Agricultural CCs

Pawnshops

CLOSING of the XVII Legal Forum PLENARY SESSION
SUmming up the results of the round tables; discussion and adoption of the FORUM’S final resolution

14:00-15:00

Break

15:00-17:30

1. Opening ceremony of the XVIII National Conference on Microfinance and Financial Inclusion. Plenary Session

18:00-20:00

Welcome cocktail for Conference participants

28.11.19

09:30-11:30

2. Plenary Session

“Supervisory reform. What's in it for the market? What's in it for the customer?”

The session will bring together all regulators, including the heads of key departments of the Bank of Russia and the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, 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

11:30-12:00

Coffee break

12:00-13:30

3. ROundtables of individual segments of the microfinance market

3.1 Commercial MFOs

3.2 Non-Commercial MFOs

3.3 CCs and Agricultural CCs

3.4 Pawnshops

13:30-15.00

Lunch

15:00-16:30

4. Discussion and training sessions

 
  1. 1 Company management

    Business success largely depends on the right choice of company management strategy. Indeed, streamlining the workflow and formalizing the company’s strategy is often the missing link needed to drive the business forward. A lot has been written and said about management theory, but theory does not necessarily translate well into practice. This session will discuss real-life examples of various management systems (from flow to agile) implemented in microfinance, alongside techniques for building useful management skills for CEOs and proper use of external consulting to solve managerial problems

4.2 Judicial practice

The session will discuss recent cases from judicial practice concerning MFOs, CCCs and pawnshops, and brainstorm ways to disseminate best examples of litigating microfinance-related cases across Russian regions. Heads of legal divisions of MFOs, CCCs and pawnshops, independent experts, representatives of the Russian Supreme Court and leading law firms have been invited to contribute to this session.

4.3 Financial technology

Software developers and fintech service providers catering for MFOs, CCCs, AgCCCs and pawnshops, as well as microfinance market players willing to share innovative solutions and exclusive practices of using IT for better performance, cost optimization and business development, have been invited to attend and contribute to the discussion.

4.4 Financial literacy

Many MFOs, CCCs and pawnshops have seamlessly integrated financial education into their communications with customers – and not just with them. We hope companies have done so not only because promoting financial literacy is trendy. It also makes a lot of sense because 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. However, financial education should be done properly for it to make a difference. This session will discuss financial literacy tools and strategies that really work.

16:30-17:00

Coffee break

17:00-18:30

5. Discussion and training sessions

 

5.1 Single Chart of Accounts and XBRL for CEOs

Account numbers and sub-accounts, transfer of balances and the chief accountant's business reputation ... When discussing a Single Chart of Accounts, one can encounter many obscure terms making little sense. We have done our best to get rid of the fluff and focus on what a CEO really needs to know about the new accounting requirements so that their company's transition to a new Chart of Accounts does not spell disaster. The session will also discuss the key changes in reporting to the Bank of Russia with the introduction of the XBRL standard. The session will give CEOs a better insight into the accounting department's performance and the chief accountant's qualifications, and will help accountants appreciate how their work impacts on their employer's business.

5.2 Financial Ombudsman

Starting in January 2020, MFOs are required to join the financial ombudsman's service.

After another year, in January 2021, CCCs and pawnshops will follow them.

The financial ombudsman's job is to facilitate out-of-court settlement of disputes between financial institutions and their customers (natural persons) to avoid taking matters to court.

Before bringing a case to the ombudsman, a consumer must first address their complaint to the financial institution in question. The ombudsman's service of accepting and responding to complaints is free for the consumer, but financial institutions must pay a fee to support the ombudsman's operation. In certain circumstances, the law requires that financial consumers should contact the financial ombudsman first, before they are allowed to bring a case to court.

5.3 Funding

Lack of access to bank funding forces MFIs to look for alternative sources of finance to support their development. This session will cover pros and cons of bond issue, explore prospects for issuing shares and discuss what investors look at when choosing where to invest.

 

5.4 Risk management and long-term planning

Economic and regulatory uncertainty makes risk forecasting and management particularly important. Companies planning for a long-term stay in the market try to assess as many potential risks as possible and mitigate their impact on business performance. This session will feature the success stories of MFOs, CCCs and pawnshops with many years of operation behind them, focusing in particular on their risk management approaches. The session will also include an overview of recent risk management research and best practices from top experts.

19:00-22:30

Gala Dinner in honor of the participants of the XVIII National Conference on Microfinance and Financial Inclusion.

29.11.19

09:30-11:00

6. Debates

11:00-11:30

Coffee break

11:30-13:00

7. Roundtables

 

7.1 KYC: risks and technology

Serving customers online can reduce contact costs and expand outreach. However, many market participants are wary of the extra costs of integrating the required technology and the risks of customer identification errors. The session will discuss the evolution of borrower identification systems, ways to combat fraud and possible use of ESIA and SMEV in MFO and CCC operations.

 

7.2 Electronic platforms

In a few recent years, the Russian crowdfunding market has shown consistent growth, with dozens of companies announcing new launches of crowdfunding platforms simultaneously.
In the summer of 2019, regulations were finally adopted for this market segment.
On 1 January 2020, the Law on Attracting Investment Using Investment Platforms will become effective, providing a legal definition of investment platforms and giving them official status. 
How will the law affect the development of electronic platforms? Are we going to see a tangible synergistic effect of launching an MFO- or CCC-based electronic platform?
We will discuss the above questions with representatives of crowdfunding platforms, heads of major marketplaces, and experts.

7.3 Collection

Customers who keep up with repayment schedules tend to be satisfied with MFO services. Overdue borrowers, however, are the ones who create tensions around the industry. This roundtable will discuss debt collection methods which are the least toxic for the industry, ways to protect your company from problems caused by unscrupulous collectors, and legally sound approaches to countering some borrowers’ "consumer terrorism."

13:00-14:00

Extended coffee break

14:00-15:30

8. Discussion and training sessions

 

8.1 Collateral. Assessment and enforcement

Pawnshops and some microfinance organizations traditionally take property as collateral. Recently, as returns on conventional loans have been declining, other players have been considering this market segment. This session will discuss:

  •  How to assess collateral value quickly and effectively?
  •  Whether and how to use household appliances as collateral?
  •  How to establish an efficient procedure of collateral enforcement?
  •  How to valuate gemstones?

8.2 Microfinance for SMEs

In late 2018 and early 2019, the business loan segment showed significant growth; its leaders produced outstanding results by offering products in high demand with SMEs. This gives us every reason to discuss the outlook for this segment, including potential synergy with new types of financial services such as crowdfunding.

8.3 Microfinance in Russian regions and financial inclusion

MFOs, CCCs and pawnshops support financial inclusion in the remotest parts of the country by offering loans to communities with no access to banks or other financial institutions. Are there specific aspects of running microfinance operations in the regions? What are the advantages of lending in small towns and villages? Is it possible for a company outside of Moscow to become a major market player at the federal level? How to deal with different interpretations of the regulations by local divisions of the federal regulator?
NAMMS will summarize the lessons learned by self-regulatory organizations and associations from interactions with regional executive authorities and regulators.

15:40-16:15

Closing of the Conference

NAMMS and the Organizing Committee reserve the right to make any amendments to the Conference agenda.