An impact assessment of the regulation of microfinance institutions in Namibia
Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : This study aimed at contributing to the current debate on the regulation of microfinance institutions (MFIs), through providing important inputs for evidence-based policy dialogue and decision making, particularly on the issue relating to whether MFIs should be regulated and supervised and how they should be regulated. Using the case of Namibia, it entailed a critical evaluation of the potential impact of regulation on MFIs and hence on the microfinance sector. Through an application of the Rationale-Objectives-Indicator (ROI) methodology, an analysis of a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) was performed at two levels, namely an ex-post level using a case study of a deposit-taking MFI that has been regulated under conventional banking law and an ex-ante level of the likely impact of the proposed microfinance regulatory framework. It was found that regulation has generally had a positive impact on the operations of the regulated MFI, as reflected in improvements in most of its performance indicators (profitability, portfolio quality, liquidity and access to finance, given substantial increases in the number of savers and borrowers) during the post-licensing period. The ex-ante RIA of the proposed new microfinance regulatory framework also pointed towards a greater probability of the envisaged regulatory framework achieving its intended regulatory objectives. This will however depend on the degree to which regulatory requirements are going to be enforced and the prevailing macro-economic conditions in the country. As such, it was concluded that, while necessary, regulation alone may not be sufficient to attract relevant players into the microfinance sector and develop the sector, given the structural weaknesses of the Namibian economy. Broader policy and reform initiatives, including additional incentives, might be required to spur the development of the country’s microfinance sector.
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