Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic – The savings and loan bank ADOPEM, S.A. has obtained the Client Protection Certification awarded by The Smart Campaign.
Banco ADOPEM is the first microfinance institution in the Dominican Republic to obtain this certification, and thus takes its place as one of the ten institutions awarded this distinction in Latin America, and 46 worldwide.
The certification confirms that Banco ADOPEM fulfills all the standards of the Client Protection Certification program required by The Smart Campaign, as demonstrated by an exhaustive independent assessment of the bank, and the public recognition of financial institutions that meet the required standards of service in their relations and dealings with their customers.
“We offer Banco ADOPEM our sincerest congratulations”, says Isabelle Barrès, director of The Smart Campaign. “Their readiness to do the necessary preparatory work and undergo the rigorous evaluation process is yet another indicator of their profound commitment to their customers. They have shown that Certification in the Area of Client Protection is an achievable goal”.
The Smart Campaign’s worldwide Client Protection Certification Program publicly rewards institutions all over the world that offer financial services to individuals from low-income households, and whose standards of service fulfill the seven Protection Principles laid down by this international initiative. These principles cover such important areas as transparency in the prices and costs of the products offered, fair and respectful service for all their customers, the privacy of their personal information and the prevention of overindebtedness.
It uses a set of strict benchmarks and lays down a series of minimum standards for ethical and responsible transactions to serve as a guide for microfinance institutions. Their compliance is assessed by independent organizations authorized to certify by The Smart Campaign. The evaluators –M-CRIL, MicroFinanza Rating and MicroRate– are institutions specializing in rating microfinance institutions and have extensive experience in this sector.
“We have always been fully committed to protecting our customers, but this independent certification reinforces our credibility and signals to the community and the industry that we continue working every day to improve our engagement with the best practices in microfinance and their application in our bank”, says Mercedes Canalda de Beras-Goico, executive president of Banco ADOPEM. Since 2011, Banco ADOPEM has been running its Pasión por el Servicio (Passion for Service) program, an initiative to motivate excellence in the service provided to customers in its 70 branch offices, with a quarterly assessment of the target indicators for this program.