> Posted by the Smart Campaign

Today we’re excited to announce that Alalay Sa Kaunlaran (ASKI) is the first financial institution in the Philippines to be certified by the Smart Campaign. Clients of financial services can face risks. They can get into too much debt, be taken advantage of, or sold the wrong services. Financial institutions can minimize harm to clients by implementing the Client Protection Principles, a common, global framework for client protection. By becoming Smart Certified, an institution demonstrates that it puts the principles into practice.

The non-profit institution earned its Smart Certification in late July following a mission conducted by Microfinanza Rating, and is being publicly recognized today in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Financial Inclusion Summit 2015, in Manila.

Established in 1987 in central Luzon to serve and empower the poor through microenterprise development, ASKI today serves more than 136,000 clients through 72 branches and 7,794 solidarity groups in 234 cities and towns.

Ms. Pia Roman of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will present the Smart Certification certificate to ASKI executives. BSP has taken serious and deliberate measures to expand the availability of quality financial services in the Philippines, and the Campaign has found a strong ally in BSP in its work on consumer protection. MCPI, the Microfinance Council of the Philippines, and its director, Mr. Allan Sicat will join the ceremony recognizing ASKI’s certification.

Opportunity International has been generously supporting ASKI in its journey toward Smart Certification.

The Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Certification Program contains a core set of standards against which institutions are evaluated by independent, third-party evaluators. We recently released new draft Client Protection Standards, which will be the basis for what we term Certification 2.0. For more information and to provide your feedback on the draft standards, click here.

The number of clients served by Smart Certified financial institutions around the world now totals more than 21 million.

Have you read?

Chime in! The Smart Campaign Needs Your Views on the New Standards for Certification 2.0

Isabelle Barres On the Challenges of Promoting Client Protection, the Thorny Issues of  Profits and Pricing, and the Smart Campaign’s Next Steps

Three Cheers for the Smart Campaign’s Certification Summit