Microfinance and Inclusive Finance are characterized by the provision of financial services (such as savings, loans, insurance and remittances) to people who have been left out of the traditional banking systems, often low-income individuals who lack collateral and credit history. Microfinance is widely viewed as a sustainable solution to alleviating poverty.
The Committee on International Microfinance and Financial Inclusion supports the expansion of microfinance and other methods of financial inclusion via both commercial and non-profit sectors. As a cross-cutting discipline, microfinance and legal issues relating to financial inclusion are areas that impact various work streams, including, for example, banking and e-banking, international investment, insurance, secured transactions, security interests, alternative dispute resolution, poverty eradication, and women’s rights.
Just as the fields of microfinance and financial inclusion act as a “natural glue” among many disciplines, they also weave together the corresponding interests of various NYSBA committees and chapters. Both funding countries and recipient countries have high stake interests in the advancement of this sector, and the Committee provides a natural environment for such parties to exchange views and work together.
Proposed activities the Committee explores include those to:
- Provide input in to the work of standard-setting bodies (e.g., BASEL, the World Bank, the UN) and promote the development of best practices.
- Establish relationships and mutual projects with NYSBA International Section Chapters, particularly in countries where microfinance plays a more prominent role in poverty alleviation agendas
- Monitor legislation, both in the US and abroad, through coordination with NYSBA International Section Chapters for monitoring of foreign government legislation
- Establish relationships with and provide relevant information to donors, funders, lenders, and other investors in microfinance
- Create written content and educational programs internally and externally (e.g., provide content to NYSBA for publications or CLEs, raise the profile of NYSBA among external organizations, publications, and other venues)
- Provide opportunities for networking with other NYSBA committees and sections, substantive and geographical, inside NYSBA and with external bars internationally and domestically
- Assist law schools with educational curriculum, clinics and other forums to promote research and understanding of topics in financial inclusion
- Assist and encourage governments in facilitating the sector by providing research, support statements, and similar assistance
- Facilitate the education of microfinance institutions in the field on legal issues
- Serve as a resource of information and people to other committees and sections within NYSBA
- Provide a networking and discussion forum for microfinance-related NYSBA attorneys, who currently have no trade organization
- Facilitate discussion of microfinance and financial inclusion among various
- legal systems (e.g. civil vs. common law)
- banking systems (e.g. Islamic/participatory, and mobile)
- currency systems (e.g, actual, virtual, and complementary), and
- government systems (e.g., democratic, theocratic, socialist), and
- economic systems (e.g., capitalist, communist, protectionist)
NYSBA Uncitral Note
Financial inclusion and the Law Series
- Mobile Banking and Access to Finance In Africa
- Crowdfunding and the JOBS Act
- Agriculture-based Communities and Access to Finance