Role of Turkish Commercial Banks in Developing Sustainable Microfinance Program

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Zhejiang Gongshang Univ Press

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One of the most popular economic, efforts globally is to enable the poor people to get access to financial resources. The current Turkish efforts in this direction are limited to selected government agencies providing microfinance to the poor people on a subsidized basis. For obvious reasons such a practice does not stand a chance of ever become self-sustaining. The alternative involves seeking ways of persuading the private commercial banking industry, with all its competitive capacity and dynamism, to launch microfinance (MF) programs with a variety of different financial products as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR). This paper first provides a brief overview of MF activities in Turkey, and after analyzing commercial banking industry data, it seeks to encourage the banking industry to seriously consider embracing MF for the poor of the country. This can easily be done by allocating a tiny fraction of their current resources towards MF as part of their corporate social responsibility, and making effective use of the industry's growing network of branches throughout the country. The study attempts to develop a systematic set of criteria to not only convince commercial banks about the MF potential, but also to persuade them to seriously try making MF products profitable and self-sustaining, while continuing to help ameliorate poverty. The recommended guidelines and criteria include considerations such as; maturity indifference, use of branch networks, mechanics of allocating funds from existing resources, levels of microcredit per customer, microcredit banking versus collateralized banking, targeting the economically lowest twenty percent of the population, etc. As a starting point for each commercial bank to initiate this CSR project, the study proposes a mandated requirement for every bank to allocate a certain percentage of its previous year's average profits per towards MF. Information is also provided on the successful trend among MF Institutions globally towards becoming self-sustaining, and gradually, even profitable. Brazil's experiences in this direction are tapped into to suggest a specific rule-of-thumb formula for the banking industry's use to penetrate the vast Untapped Turkish MF market. This study might prove to be an igniting point for jump starting a national effort towards assisting the poor through MF initiatives.


13th West Lake International Conference on Small and Medium Business (WLICSMB 2011) -- OCT 15-17, 2011 -- Hangzhou, PEOPLES R CHINA

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microfinance, micro credit, financial access, commercial banks, sustainability


Proceedings Of The Thirteenth West Lake International Conference On Small & Medium Business (Wlicsmb 2011)

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