Rural bankers learn group lending best practices in Cebu workshop

Seven MABS Participating Banks from Visayas and Mindanao joined the RBAP-MABS staff on July 21-23 in Cebu City for the Group Lending Enhancement Training Workshop.  Ms. Tess Espenilla of USAID opened the session with a welcome address expressing the need for the group lending product, which has been at the heart of microfinance for the past four decades, to be adjusted to the current needs of microfinance clients.  Eighteen rural bankers, mainly microfinance unit managers and other bank officers, from Green Bank of Caraga, Cantilan Bank, Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Rural Bank of Oroquieta, Siargao Bank, Progressive Bank and First Agro-Industrial Rural Bank participated in the workshop.
The workshop covered the stages of center development, tools for classifying the status of centers and members, group lending enhancement options, product transition models, market research and development of the product enhancement transition plan.  The rural bankers gained a wealth of knowledge on group lending product enhancement options and transition tools and processes.   Participants noted that applying the concepts covered in the training should not be difficult; the keys are to base transition on specific, established criteria and regularly review the needs of clients.
The highlight of the training session was applying the market research concepts in the field.  On the second day of the workshop, the rural bankers conducted interviews at two group lending centers from Green Bank’s branch in Cebu.  They gathered members’ opinions on the bank’s group lending products, the effectiveness of center meetings, and suggestions for further financial services that could benefit the members.  The workshop participants brought this knowledge back to the training room where they tabulated and analyzed the survey results. They also generated recommendations to enhance the product.  By the time the second day was over, it was evident that market research remains the foundation of crafting successful group lending products.
Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded program in partnership with the Rural Bankers’ Association of the Philippines (RBAP), with oversight from the Office of the President through the Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA).

Cebu workshop 1Seven MABS Participating Banks from Visayas and Mindanao joined the RBAP-MABS staff on July 21-23 in Cebu City for the Group Lending Enhancement Training Workshop.  Ms. Tess Espenilla of USAID opened the session with a welcome address expressing the need for the group lending product, which has been at the heart of microfinance for the past four decades, to be adjusted to the current needs of microfinance clients.  Eighteen rural bankers, mainly microfinance unit managers and other bank officers, from Green Bank of Caraga, Cantilan Bank, Rural Bank of Guinobatan, Rural Bank of Oroquieta, Siargao Bank, Progressive Bank and First Agro-Industrial Rural Bank participated in the workshop.

The workshop covered the stages of center development, tools for classifying the status of centers and members, group lending enhancement options, product transition models, market research and development of the product enhancement transition plan.  The rural bankers gained a wealth of knowledge on group lending product enhancement options and transition tools and processes.   Participants noted that applying the concepts covered in the training should not be difficult; the keys are to base transition on specific, established criteria and regularly review the needs of clients.

Cebu workshop 2The highlight of the training session was applying the market research concepts in the field.  On the second day of the workshop, the rural bankers conducted interviews at two group lending centers from Green Bank’s branch in Cebu.  They gathered members’ opinions on the bank’s group lending products, the effectiveness of center meetings, and suggestions for further financial services that could benefit the members.  The workshop participants brought this knowledge back to the training room where they tabulated and analyzed the survey results. They also generated recommendations to enhance the product.  By the time the second day was over, it was evident that market research remains the foundation of crafting successful group lending products.

Microenterprise Access to Banking Services (MABS) is a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded program in partnership with the Rural Bankers’ Association of the Philippines (RBAP), with oversight from the Office of the President through the Mindanao Development Authority (MINDA).