|Key figures Impact story|
To contribute to the economic development of the country and to the improvement of the quality of life of people in Tajikistan by providing access to finance and banking services. To be recognized as Tajikistan’s most trusted bank, operating to international standards of ethics, prudence and customer service, through the reliable delivery of high-quality banking services in all regions of Tajikistan to its customers.
The First MicroFinance Bank – Tajikistan (FMFB-T) is affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) – a group of development agencies working in health, education, culture and rural and economic development. It was founded in August 2003 primarily for conducting microfinance activities, taking over the portfolio of microfinance institutions run by other AKDN agencies in the country. The initial shareholders of FMFB-T were Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, a leading investor in Africa, South and Central Asia with a focus on building economically sound enterprises and Aga Khan Foundation, provider of community driven solutions to development challenges. The shareholder base increased subsequently following investments from International Finance Corporation, KfW and Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance. It started its operations with two branches in 2004 and won the Microfinance Transparency award within two years of its operations. FMFB-T has a strong presence in the rural and semi-rural areas where the concentration of the poor is the highest in Tajikistan. The lending focus of the Bank broadened with SME financing activities being included in the year 2011. The Bank joined the National Payment System ‘Korti Milli’ in 2013 to offer card services to its clients with ATM and merchant payment facilities.
The Bank is headed by the CEO, Mr. Yenten Lama, supported by the Heads of Finance, Operations, Credit, Risk, IT, Marketing, HR & Training, Legal and Audit departments, all with professional qualifications and a rich mix of international and local experience. The operations of the Bank are governed by the Board of Directors who are also responsible for taking part in one or more of the independent committees on Risk Management, Audit and HR. The Bank is headquartered in Dushanbe and has regional offices looking after the branches. The Bank operates through its 35 outlets spread throughout the country covering both urban and rural areas, some in very remote areas. It also has a network of ATMs and Payment Terminals providing 24/7 services to its clients. The Bank has partnered with international agencies such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Kreditanstalt fur Weideraufbau Bankengruppe (KfW), IFC, Triodos, Blue Orchard, Incofin, Symbiotics and ResponsAbility for its funding needs. The Bank also partners with USAID, UNHCR, Mercy Corps, Caritas, IFC, KfW, DFATD (Global Affairs Canada), EBRD on development projects.
The First Microfinance Bank’s Shareholders are key partners in supporting Bank’s growth. The current shareholders are – Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance, KFW, Aga Khan Foundation-Tajikistan and The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. In addition to the Board members nominated by the shareholders there are three independent Directors. The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Bank and ensuring that senior management, employees and the Board itself comply with established policies, laws and regulations. The Board consists of members from specialized fields and maintains a diversity of perspective of the Board room. They are all professionals with significant experience in managing banks around the world. The governance of the Bank is carried through independent committees of HR, Risk, Audit etc. and each Director is a member of at least one Board committee. The Board meets quarterly to oversee the affairs of the Bank and advise management.
Market focus, products, services
FMFB offers customized products and services to its clients. It is one of the leading retail banks providing innovative products and smart banking solutions to various segments of clientele via a network of Branches, Banking Service Centres and Remittance Centres. The Bank also has a wide network of ATMs and Payment Terminals providing convenience banking to its clients in the country. The Bank offers credit, deposit, remittance, cards and foreign exchange services to its clients at competitive rates. The Bank is environmentally conscious in its lending practices and ensures lending to only those projects which are environmentally friendly. Personal Banking solutions from the Bank include smart banking features such as online banking, SMS Alerts and other benefits for ease of banking for customers. The Bank also offers payroll services for its corporate clients.
Credit: The Bank gives working capital loans, agriculture loans, loan to purchase assets and consumption loans of up to USD 10,000 equivalent to individuals. It also provides high denomination loans of up to USD 200,000 equivalent with attractive terms and interest rates. The Bank maintains high standards of transparency in its assessment and disbursement processes. It also bears in mind the principles of client protection in conducting its operations. The Bank encourages women and women entrepreneurs to apply for loans with a focus on empowerment of women in Tajikistan. 35% of its credit clients are women. The Bank regularly conducts Financial Awareness training for its customers and prominently displays notices advising customers of their rights and responsibilities.
Deposit: The Bank provides demand and fixed deposit services to its clients. It also offers incentives to clients opening child deposit accounts. The Bank has developed a special remittance-linked savings accounts for Tajik migrants working abroad and for their families in Tajikistan to encourage a savings culture.
Benefits of being part of the GABV
FMFB operates on the core principles of ethics, prudence and highest standards of customer service. It foresees a positive impact on its workings and on its global and local image amongst customers and other stakeholders by being a part of GABV. The rewards of a positive image among the clients could be exponential. The network of peers and colleagues from the Alliance would be immensely valuable for cross learning. This would further pave the way for the Bank to operate at international standards. Participation in the regional meetings of GABV and collaborating with other members will provide insights into each others’ working models, sharing of knowledge resources and building staff capacity. Communities of Practice of the GABV of various functions will also help the Bank keep updated of the latest developments. This will, in the long run, prove to be valuable for achieving the Bank’s mission of improving the quality of life of people in Tajikistan by providing banking and financial services. GABV is also expected to serve as a platform to collectively mobilize financial resources for its members and work in the areas of policy advocacy as well.