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Commissioner in Chelyabinsk Region calls on to ban microfinance companies

12 August 2016
Commissioner in Chelyabinsk Region calls on to ban microfinance companies

On 11 August, a regular release of the ‘Human Rights’ programme was aired on the Public Television of Russia channel (OTR). It was devoted to the protection rights of citizens who suffered from microfinance companies. Commissioner for Human Rights in Chelyabinsk Region Margarita Pavlova has initiated the discussion. During the live broadcast she told the audience that the Commissioner continued to receive complaints from people who found themselves in debt bondage, having taken a loan in a microfinance company at a high interest. There are examples in Chelyabinsk Region when an annual percentage rate under a contract with a microfinance company exceeds 3 thousand percent.

National statistics is also unpromising. Today, more than 3 million people are clients of microfinance organizations and 30 percent of them have an overdue debt. Moreover, relatives, families and children usually suffer together with the debtors themselves.

The microfinancing, in its time, was awarded the Nobel Prize as a socially important project. The very idea of microfinancing initially emerged to support medium and small business. However, wherever it was launched in the world, it ended in failure. "By banning microfinance organizations we’ll protect people. Recently, we approached the mass media and advertising agencies of Chelyabinsk Region with a letter calling on to reduce the flow of advertisement about microfinance companies in order to help consumers to refrain from inconsiderate acts," summed up Margarita Pavlova.

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