8 organisations have recently been awarded the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision (ECoCG): Fondi BESA (Albania), microStart (Belgium) and FAER (Romania), together with five credit unions, members of UTCAR Regiunea Vest, in Romania (CAR CFR, CAR DECEBAL, CAR ULPIA, CAR UNIREA, CAR ZARAND). EMN is happy to see that more members of its network are being recognised and we are certain more of our practitioner members will be adopting the Code in the coming months.
These 8 organisations join the list of previously awarded microfinance practitioners: Qredits (Netherlands), BCRS Business Loans (UK), PerMicro (Italy), good.bee Credit (Romania), ADIE (France), Microfinance Ireland (Ireland), Action Finance Initiative (Greece) – all EMN members – together with Slovene Enterprise Fund (Slovenia) & TISE (Poland). In total, 17 organisations have been certified under the ECoGC since 2016. We also expect to see more EMN members making this list in the coming months.
A Code to unify standards for the microfinance sector
The European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision provides a set of standards in terms of management, governance, risk management, reporting, and consumer and investor relations that are common to the microcredit sector in the European Union. These standards are for the benefit of customers, investors, funders, owners, regulators and partner organisations.
The Code has been built on recognised best practice in the microfinance sector and developed in close consultation with the microcredit sector in the EU and its stakeholders. The development of the Code was based on the recognition that – considering the disparate regulatory frameworks in which microcredit providers in the EU operate – there was a need for a unifying set of expectations and standards that was common to the sector.
The Code sets out good practice guidelines that will better allow the sector to face the challenges of accessing long-term finance, maintaining and improving the quality of services, and moving towards sustainability.