ProCredit banks also focus on encouraging private individuals to save and on promoting a savings culture in the countries in which we operate. Therefore, we design accessible savings services with fair interest rates and we train our Client Advisers to talk with clients about the benefits of saving. Local savings mobilised in this way also provide a stable source of funding for our business lending activities.
Nevertheless, we refuse to engage in manipulative advertising, we do not offer inflated interest rates, and we assess the seriousness of every one of our savings clients and verify the legitimacy of their income. Since we want to avoid over-indebting our customers, we are very cautious about issuing credit cards and overdrafts to private individuals.
ProCredit banks do not promote consumer loans. Since the beginning, ProCredit has distanced itself from consumer loans or “microloans” with unspecified purposes, as the risk of overindebtedness is high and the productive capacity of such loans is low. This has become even more important as providers of consumer lending have flourished in recent years in our countries of operation, creating widespread overindebtedness among vulnerable lower income groups. Our focus on enterprise lending is therefore strong. We engage in very limited lending to private households, and where we do, we aim to build family assets, for example by providing housing and housing improvement loans.