London MP to lead parliamentary debate on microfinance

Mark Field, MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, will be leading a 90-minute debate on microfinance on Tuesday 26th January.

Mr Field is a member of the APPG on Microfinance, as well as being the MP for members of the London RESULTS group and the new RESULTS head office.

Earlier this month, Mr Field wrote a long article about microfinance which you can read on his website. In this article, he notes that “Microfinance can help poor people protect themselves from risk, escape debt and live in a sustainable way by creating small enterprises.” Microfinance, he believes, is also “a development technique that encourages responsibility and independence, [and] is a form of assistance that is more likely to garner the support of the British taxpayer – especially if it is put to work in some of the UK’s poorest communities.”

Mark Field made reference to RESULTS, who along with a local microfinance practitioner, have helped to develop his interest in microfinance.

If you would like to watch the debate on microfinance, you can do so through the Parliament Live website which allows you to watch live and archived debates from both Houses of Parliament. The microfinance debate will be held in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Tuesday 26th January.


2 responses to “London MP to lead parliamentary debate on microfinance

  1. Dear Mr Mark Field
    your article “Road to Micro Finance” made good reading and it should open up the road in UK, The focus I believe should be on Access to finance for the poor, I strongly believe that the
    Vision for Inclusive Financial Systems is…
    A world in which poor people everywhere enjoy permanent access to a wide range of
    quality financial services, delivered by different types of institutions through a variety
    of convenient mechanisms.

    Cardinal Principles that need to be followed by Social Investors /Donors/Funders as defined by CGAP are:

    1. Poor people need a variety of financial services, not just loans. In addition to credit,
    they want savings, insurance, and money transfer services.
    2. Microfinance is a powerful tool to fight poverty. Poor households use financial
    services to raise income, build their assets, and cushion themselves against external
    3. Microfinance means building financial systems that serve the poor.Microfinance
    will reach its full potential only if it is integrated into a country’s mainstream financial
    4. Microfinance can pay for itself, and must do so if it is to reach very large numbers
    of poor people. Unless microfinance providers charge enough to cover their
    costs, they will always be limited by the scarce and uncertain supply of subsidies
    from donors and governments.
    5. Microfinance is about building permanent local financial institutions that can attract
    domestic deposits, recycle them into loans, and provide other financial services.
    6. Microcredit is not always the answer. Other kinds of support may work better for
    people who are so destitute that they are without income or means of repayment.
    7. Interest rate ceilings hurt poor people by making it harder for them to get credit.
    Making many small loans costs more than making a few large ones. Interest rate
    ceilings prevent microfinance institutions from covering their costs, and thereby
    choke off the supply of credit for poor people.
    8. The job of government is to enable financial services, not to provide them directly.
    Governments can almost never do a good job of lending, but they can set a supporting
    policy environment.
    9. Donor funds should complement private capital, not compete with it. Donors
    should use appropriate grant, loan, and equity instruments on a temporary basis to
    build the institutional capacity of financial providers, develop support infrastructure,
    and support experimental services and products.
    10. The key bottleneck is the shortage of strong institutions and managers. Donors
    should focus their support on building capacity.
    11. Microfinance works best when it measures—and discloses—its performance.
    Reporting not only helps stakeholders judge costs and benefits, but it also improves
    performance. MFIs need to produce accurate and comparable reporting on financial
    performance (e.g., loan repayment and cost recovery) as well as social performance
    (e.g., number and poverty level of clients being served).

    with best wishes
    John Alex
    Head-Social Initiatives
    Equitas Micro Finance

  2. Hi John, Thanks so much for your post. We will pass this on to Mark Field MP’s office for you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s