The latest issue of the online journal, Progreso: Corporate Governance, Inclusion and Development, includes an interview with Sir Angus Deaton, winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2015, conducted during his visit to Madrid as keynote speaker at the Forum on Financial Inclusion and Development, part of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s 10th anniversary commemorative events.
During his speech, the Nobel laureate highlighted that “the methods and techniques of microfinance are a kind of useful knowledge that can benefit poor people worldwide.” He also acknowledged the significant role of financial institutions in providing secure, convenient tools to help households gain access to a range of savings and insurance products and services.
In the Editorial, the Chairman of the BBVAMF Board of Trustees, Claudio González-Vega, makes a fascinating analysis of the relationship between the Foundation and the Development Goals for 2030. He is convinced that “philanthropy for development should be value-based, client-centered, knowledge-intensive, cooperation-enhanced, diversity-nurturing, efficient, broadly sustainable, properly regulated, with measurable results, and alliance-builder”.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees also contributes an article on The regulation of microfinance, in which he argues that “microfinance deserves prudential norms different from those that are suitable for commercial banking and consumer finance.”
This issue also includes an article by Martín Naranjo, general manager of Financiera Confianza, entitled Quintín. He tells the exemplary case of Quintín Quispe, the Peruvian entrepreneur who participated in the panel held to showcase “Entrepreneurs’ experience with BBVAMF”, as part of the event in Madrid to celebrate the Foundation’s full decade of activity. Martín Naranjo explains that what has set the BBVAFM apart is its ability to “create and test the best technology alternatives to be able to help customers like Quintín in his endeavours to make a better future.” And he adds that “to better understand any financial inclusion strategy, it is crucial to understand how the different networks that support the development of financial systems are articulated.”
The article Fitting the pieces together to understand our client’s reality is signed by Stephanie García Van Gool, head of the BBVAMF Impact Assessment and Strategic Development department. She explains the measurement model used by the Foundation to better understand its impact in quantitative terms. She describes how the Foundation goes “out of our way to gain in-depth understanding of our microentrepreneurs, so that we can customise our products to their needs and work with them to improve their living conditions.”
Progreso also gives a summary of the latest regulations affecting the microfinance industry, especially in Latin America, and the most recent corporate governance standards, focusing on the European Union directive on transparent, active shareholder engagement, and the EU guidelines for vetting directors sitting on the boards of European companies.