Citi roundtable assesses risks in microfinance
Credit risk has been identified as the fastest growing risk worldwide, said Philip Brown, director (risk) of Citi Microfinance, at a roundtable on Monday.
Citibank NA Bangladesh organised the roundtable on how to recognise risk and avoid banana skins in microfinance, at Hotel Lake Shore in Dhaka.
"One of the main objectives of the roundtable is to assess the overall risk of microfinance,” Brown said.
AB Mirza Md Azizul Islam, the former finance adviser to the immediate past caretaker government, inaugurated the event, while Dr Salehuddin Ahmed, former Bangladesh Bank governor, facilitated the roundtable.
The meeting reviewed the findings of the 2009 Microfinance Banana Skins Survey and also provided a forum for microfinance investors or lenders to exchange views on principal risks to future performance, facing microfinance sector in Bangladesh.
David Lascelles, senior fellow at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation, UK, also pointed out the differences of risk factors in Bangladesh in comparison to other countries.
“Bangladesh micro-finance has escaped the global financial crisis and its associated risks. But it faces other challenges such as high levels of competition and other management issues,” Lascelles stated.
Mahesh Mani, vice president for microfinance of Citibank NA, India, and Mamun Rashid, Citi country officer for Bangladesh, among others, were also present.