Europe’s first microcredit provider (MCP) to receive certification for compliance with the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision (referred to as ‘the Code’) is the Dutch firm Qredits. Qredits was founded as a non-profit organisation in 2009 to assist the social and financial inclusion of micro-entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.
Elwin Groenevelt, the General Director of Qredits welcomed this certification saying: “Qredits is proud to be the first European microfinance institution to receive the certificate for compliance with the Code. From the outset in 2009 it has been our goal to build a reputable and sustainable microfinance organisation filling the market gap left by the changes in traditional lending. In order for microfinance to become a trusted financial alterative in today’s developed markets we were eager to participate in designing the Code and thus creating a performance standard for this sector.”
MCPs are required to sign up to the Code as a pre-condition for benefitting from the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) – such as EaSI Microfinance Guarantee, EaSI Technical Assistance or EaSI Capacity Building. Referring to the Code’s relevance for MCPs, Mr Groenevelt said: “We encourage other microcredit providers to implement the Code of Good Conduct in order to bring the alternative financing sector to a higher level professionally and for our joint interests to be represented well at a European level. We are grateful also for the guarantees and programmes made available through the European Commission in support of this sector and feel it is only fair to have to meet the requirements of the Code in order to continue benefitting from these programmes.”
“Over the past three years we focused on incorporating the requirements set forth in the priority clauses of the Code in the areas of customer and investor relations, governance, risk management, reporting and information systems. Receiving this certificate of compliance with the Code shows how much we have achieved over the past eight years and underlines the fact that Qredits is a best practice example in the European microfinance market. This certification also ensures our continued eligibility for EaSI guarantees and instruments available through the European Commission.”