I'm pleased to share great news regarding Opportunity Bank Serbia. MicroFinanza Rating (MFR), the widely respected global microfinance rating agency, has given Opportunity Bank Serbia a social rating of "A," up from "A-" two years ago following the last assessment.
The "A" rating confirms the bank has "good social performance management and client protection systems" and a "social mission likely to be achieved." Specifically, this outstanding social rating was based on the bank's performance in four key areas:
(1) Social Performance Management System: "The recently updated ownership structure ensures uniform commitment to the mission. The Bank's alignment to the double bottom line is good, as the business plan includes clear social goals and targets, and the top management regularly assesses social performance related risks. Staff recruitment is well aligned to the mission."
(2) Client Protection and Social Responsibility: "Product design is informed by client feedback and the repayment capacity analysis is comprehensive and well disseminated amongst staff. EIR is properly disclosed and the staff appraisal puts significant weight on portfolio quality. Client data protection and grievance mechanism are strictly regulated by NBS and well implemented. Gender balance and staff turnover level are good. The environmental strategy is not yet formalized but the institution engages in numerous socially responsible projects."
(3) Outreach: "The breadth of outreach is good, as the financial institution is well established in all Serbian districts and, in particular, in the rural areas. The outreach to households with vulnerable demographic characteristics is good, while the outreach for women is adequate. The financial institution closely monitors the alignment to the target population by classifying them as poor, very poor and low income."
(4) Quality of the Services: "The financial institution offers a good variety of financial services that meet the economic needs of the target client. The accessibility and flexibility of their credit products are good, which is also reflected in the high scores of client satisfaction surveys.
Since it was founded in 2002, Opportunity Bank Serbia has provided more than $442 million in loans to help 107,000 clients launch and expand businesses, provide for their children and create jobs in their communities.
Congratulations to the entire Opportunity Bank Serbia team on this remarkable achievement and outstanding "A" rating from MFR.