A Different World: A Follow-Up To Microfinance Banana Skins 2009 Confronting Crisis and Change
In July 2009, the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation published the second of its “Banana Skins” surveys of the microfinance industry, the first having been carried out early 2008. As before, the survey was sponsored by Citi and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) with support from CMEF and the MIX.
The purpose of the Banana Skins process is to identify the main risks and challenges facing the industry. Since the value of the process grows with successive surveys, the second provided not just a snapshot of the microfinance risk landscape at an interesting moment, given the state of the global financial industry. It also showed how risk perceptions had evolved over the intervening 18 month crisis period. The report itself was therefore thick with messages, and the debate it provoked was extremely interesting and revealing.
After the launch of the survey, the CSFI and the sponsors of the report organized a number of meetings to promote its findings and raise discussion. These meetings took place in London (3), Frankfurt (1), Delhi (2), Dhaka (1) and Washington DC (2).
This paper takes stock of the main points that emerged from the survey and these discussions. It also seeks to identify issues which deserve further attention from practitioners, investors and officials, and offers views on how these might be taken forward.