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From NGOs to Banks: Does Institutional Transformation Alter the Business Model of Microfinance Institutions?

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  • D’Espallier, Bert
  • Goedecke, Jann
  • Hudon, Marek
  • Mersland, Roy

Abstract

In the microfinance industry an increasing number of providers are undergoing an institutional transformation from NGO to a shareholder-owned and typically regulated financial entity. Little is known about the extent to which this transformation affects the way microfinance institutions (MFIs) conduct their business. Our results obtained by applying an event study methodology to 66 transformed MFIs suggest that portfolio yield is driven down by 3.9 percentage points due to transformation, indicating that clients get more favorable interest rates. MFIs are able to significantly cut down their operational expenses, of which 1.1 percentage points can be attributed to transformation. Other findings include a steep increase in commercial debt leverage and deposits, a significant decrease in the fluctuation of funding costs and a sharp rise in average loan size, often taken as an indicator for mission drift. Profitability in terms of ROA drops in the short term, while ROE is driven up in the medium to long run, suggesting a more shareholder-oriented attitude.

Suggested Citation

  • D’Espallier, Bert & Goedecke, Jann & Hudon, Marek & Mersland, Roy, 2017. "From NGOs to Banks: Does Institutional Transformation Alter the Business Model of Microfinance Institutions?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 19-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:89:y:2017:i:c:p:19-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.06.021
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    microfinance; transformation; business model; regulation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements

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