Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Yunus demands big banks to open access to credit

In a recent speech, the pioneer of micro-credit Muhammad Yunus, again bragged about micro-credit banks expanding even during the severe global recession. With many big banks collapsing during that time, Yunus called on the banks to become more inclusive, not only for their own survival, but for the good of mankind.

From the Thaindian News, we read some quotes from Yunus.

“While big conventional banks with all their collateral were collapsing, microcredit programmes, which do not depend on collateral, continued to be as strong as ever,” said Yunus, managing director of Bangladesh’s pioneering Grameen Bank.

“Will this demonstration make the mainstream financial institutions change their minds? Will they finally open their doors to the poor?,” he asked while delivering the second Professor Hiren Mukerjee Memorial Annual Parliamentary Memorial Lecture in the Central Hall of Parliament.

“I am quite serious about this question,” Yunus said, adding: “When a crisis is at its deepest, it can offer a huge opportunity.”

“When things fall apart, that creates the opportunity to redesign, recast, and rebuild. We should not miss this opportunity to redesign our financial institutions. Let’s convert them into inclusive institutions.”

Yunus said that poverty is created by deficiencies in the institutions that we have built. Pointing fingers at big financial institutions in the world, Yunus said: “They refuse to provide financial services to nearly two-thirds of the world’s population. For generations, they claimed that it could not be done, and everybody accepted that explanation.”

This allowed loan sharks to thrive all over the world, Yunus said and added that his Grameen Bank in Bangladesh questioned this assumption and demonstrated that lending money to the poorest in a sustainable way was possible.

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