ProCredit banks also focus on serving private individuals who appreciate modern banking services, who have the capacity to save and who prefer to do their banking through electronic channels. Therefore, we have designed a range of accessible savings facilities with fair interest rates and we train our Client Advisers to talk with clients about the benefits of saving. Local savings mobilised in this way also provide a stable source of funding for our business lending activities.
Nevertheless, we refuse to engage in manipulative advertising, we do not offer inflated interest rates, and we assess the seriousness of every one of our savings clients and verify the legitimacy of their income. We want to avoid over-indebting our customers, so we issue straightforward debit cards and grant overdrafts only in reasonable amounts. We also take great care when issuing credit cards.
ProCredit banks do not promote consumer loans. Since the beginning, ProCredit has distanced itself from consumer loans or “microloans” with unspecified purposes, as the risk of overindebtedness is high and the productive capacity of such loans is low. This has become even more important as providers of consumer lending have flourished in recent years in our countries of operation, creating widespread indebtedness among vulnerable, lower income groups. Our focus on business lending is therefore strong. We engage in limited lending to private households and, where we do, we provide investment and housing loans with a view to building family assets.