2015년 9월 21일 월요일

[발췌: D. Collins et al's Portfolios of the Poor] 5. The Price of Money

출처: Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford & Orlanda Ruthven, ^Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on Two Dollars a Day^, Princeton University Press, 2009.
자료: http://www.portfoliosofthepoor.com/book.asp; 구글도서; ...


※ 발췌 (excerpts): pdf p. 153/162 ~

* * *

Chapter 5


In the spring of 2007, the Mexican microfinance bank Banco Compartamos completed a highly successful public offering of its stock. Inspired by Grameen Bank, Compartamos had grown rapidly while keeping its focus on a customer base of low-income women.
  • ( ... ... )
  • But for others the success story was marred by the high interest rates that Compartamos charged its customers. [:] on average, Compartamos’s interest rates exceeded 100 percent per year. Of that, customers paid 15 percentage points to value-added taxes, 24 percentage points went to profits, and the rest covered the basic costs of making loans.
   Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank, was outraged. His concern aligns with the broadly felt sense that programs for the poor should not take advantage of customers’ vulnerability and lack of options.
  • Moneylenders may charge 100 percent per year or more, critics like Yunus argue, but microfinance institutions are not moneylenders. 
  • Yet Grameen Bank, like its competitors, does not give away its services for free. It aims to charge reasonable prices for reliable services. In South Asia, interest rates tend to vary between 20 and 40 percent per year, well below the rates charged by Compartamos but well above giveaway levels.
  • A study of nearly 350 microfinance institutions worldwide found that, after taking inflation into account, interest rates generally fall between 10 percent and 35 percent per year─again well below the interest rates of Compartamos.
   Still, the same study found that those institutions serving the poorest customers face the highest costs of lending. Finance for the poor means dealing with lots of small loans and, when savings services are on offer, many small deposits. For providers, smallsized transactions mean limited scale economies and thus high costs per transaction.
  • Out of necessity, “pro-poor” microfinance institutions tend to charge the highest interest rates of all; microfinance banks serving better-off customers tend to charge the least. 
  • Even if Compartamos had earned no profit and paid no taxes, their interest rates would have still had to be 60 percent per year to cover costs of their strategy for small-scale lending in Mexican villages and towns.
   Examples from the diaries confirm that interest rates on financial services for the poor can be very high. In South Africa, most moneylender rates run at about 30 percent per month
  • Even the Small Enterprise Foundation, a microfinance institution in South Africa with a long-term commitment to serving the rural poor in Limpopo Province, charges an effective interest rate of about 75 percent per year on its loans, but barely covers its costs after paying its staff and accounting for its own capital costs.
  • Interest rates this high sound usurious, perhaps, but borrowers report that local moneylenders, who charge much more, will only lend them much smaller amounts of money. 
  • If it were forced to charge much less, SEF would have to rely on donors to a greater extent, and it is far from clear whether donors would be willing to support SEF’s operation indefinitely.
   ( ... ... )

   The financial diaries provide new evidence on the prices paid by poor households, and the ways that households make choices about them.
  • In general, we find that households are willing to pay prices that are high when compared to those routinely paid by the better off.
  • ( ... ... )
   Part of the answer lies in the differences in the way that loans and savings are structured for the poor compared to the wealthy. ( ... ... )
  • As a result, some of our findings will sound surprising. For example, there are good reasons why poor people pay to save, even though richer households typically expect banks to pay them interest on deposits.
  • We also find moneylenders demanding high interest rates but then settling, ultimately, for a different price, often lower but sometimes higher than their stated rate.
  • Moreover, chapter 2 showed that households are as likely to pay no interest at all for loans (usually offered by relatives and neighbors) as they are to pay annualized interest rates equivalent to 100 percent and more to the local loan shark.
  • Nothing about this or other research suggests that poor households are insensitive to price, but then nothing suggests that price is the overriding concern when they seek financial services.[n.4]
   ( ... ... ) On balance, our findings tend to support the view that legislation restricting interest rates would be counterproductive for pro-poor providers. Price caps would undermine the work of institutions like SEF that fill gaps and open opportunities for households with limited financial options.

Pricing’s Complex Origins  (p. 156/165)

   ( ... ... )

   The cost of financial services is important for the poor, too, but it is more difficult to understand how these services are priced. Modern rich-country providers have made huge strides in reducing “transaction costs”─the costs of using an instrument other than the financial cost of the funds used. But transaction costs for poor people usually
remain high.
  • They may include the time taken to stand in a long queue, the emotional cost of having to deal with unhelpful, stone-faced tellers, the cost of the bus ride to reach the bank, or the sheer number of lenders who must be persuaded to part with their money before a usefully large sum can be amassed.
  • In the case of some informal transactions, there may be obligations to the lender other than repaying the loan along with interest─to work for some days at a low wage, for example.
  • Price, then, can only take the limelight when multiple other conditions are met, not just large numbers of suppliers in competition, but an operating environment that assumes basic infrastructure, public goods, and a market in which customers “shop” equally.
   Among the hundreds of loans recorded in the financial diaries, there are many that appear to have been taken for similar uses but at widely differing nominal interest rates, maturities, and default/rescheduling rates. Similar heterogeneity characterizes savings and insurance contracts. Digesting this data suggests several insights that help us to understand pricing of financial services for the poor.
  • An immediate insight is that interest rates may often be better understood as fees for a service than as a rate for the use of money for a specific period.
  • Bankers typically express interest rates in annual terms ( ... ). The APR helps customers compare prices against the same yardstick.
  • ( ... ) but the diaries also show that converting a flat fee on a one-week loan for a small amount of money to an APR, and then comparing it to the APR for a two-year business capital loan, misses the essence of the transaction, as we show in detail in the next section.
  • A second set of insights is that prices adjust to many factors: to personal relationships, ( ... ... ) how often loans are rescheduled or forgiven, and how quickly they are repaid, ( ... ... ).

Fees versus Interest Rates  (p. 158/167)
   ( ... ... )

   Using concepts like NPV is central to first-world savings and lending, since every day that your current investment does not pay you interest, an alternative investment might have. Attention then focuses not only on the interest you earn each day, but also on the interest earned on that interest─the compounding of interest earnings. ( ... ... )

   However in the financial environment of the poor, money and time are not so closely associated. Interest is rarely compounded; sometimes it remains the same flat fee until you repay the loan, even if you’ve paid back some of the principal. For example, in South Africa, the typical interest rate on loans from moneylenders is 30 percent per month, which would translate into an effective APR of 2,230 percent on the full balance, due to interest paid on interest as a result of compounding.[n.6] But such a calculation fails to take into account two common features.
  • First, South African moneylenders rarely use compound interest. This makes their interest rates easier to understand and calculate. It can also favor borrowers who pay slowly. A customer who failed to pay anything toward his loan would owe interest of only 30 percent of the principal alone, not 30 percent of the principal plus outstanding interest.
  • Second and conversely, the moneylenders don’t adjust interest to take into account early repayment, in full or in part. This means that customers paying early or on time pay higher rates than those paying late. In “rich-world” banking, late payers are penalized since they incur costs in additional interest. But for many poor borrowers, it may be more accurate to treat financial returns and costs as flat fees rather than rates that accumulate fees over time.
   Seeing interest rates as a fee rather than an interest rate goes some way to helping us understand why households are sometimes happy to pay what we might consider to be astronomically high interest rates. We saw that in some examples given in the first chapter:
  • a poor person may sensibly pay 50 cents to borrow $10 for a day or so to tide her over a problem, even if the annualized rate calculates to more than 500 percent. The absolute outlay is just not that great, even if the percentage rate is astronomical. ( ... ... )

Stated Prices versus Actual Prices  (p. 160/169)

Pricing for Profit─or to Minimize Exposure?  (p. 164/173)

   It is important to remember that moneylenders are often as much part of the community as their clients, which makes forgiveness and rescheduling even more likely. Moneylenders who feature in the South African diaries are often simply better-off people in the neighborhood. In Bangladesh also, there are very few professional moneylenders who lend for a livelihood. Most so-called mahajans, the Bengali word most often translated as “moneylender," are simply “big persons," wealthier people who lend as much out of obligation as out of profit-motivation; ( ... ... )

   ( ... ... ) In the Bangladesh and Indian diaries, interest stated at the outset was paid in full in less than half of all the private interest-bearing loans reported. In a third or more of all loans, the interest was discounted, forgotten, forgiven, or ignored, and in the remaining cases the position over interest remains unclear. ( ... ... )

   It is difficult to predict when negotiation on a troubled loan will work and when it won’t. Ronakul is a very poor older man in our Bangladesh sample, whose sevenmember
household lives off irregular earnings of about $68 per month ( ... ... various episodes of loans and repayment ... ... )

   Discounting or forgiving, on the evidence from our study, depends on the relationship between borrower and lender. ( ... ... )

   So for sizable loans with longer terms, it is common to see a high stated cost that is later negotiated down. From a lender’s point of view, this has two benefits. 
  • First, it acts as a deterrent─if I state a high price, maybe the would-be borrower (whom I know to be poor and likely to have difficulties repaying) won't take the loan, or will take less.
  • Second, it assures me that I will get some early return on the loan: if I manage to get 10 percent a month for the first three months but then earn nothing more, my overall rate for the term of the loan as a whole may still be positive. 
  • Many microfinance institutions charge up-front fees on their loans for similar─and good─reasons. It is an obvious way of reducing risk.

Microfinance Lending  (p. 167/176)

   Within this environment, how have the microcredit institutions adapted? In Bangladesh, where they collect loan interest along with repayments at weekly intervals, they and the formal banks are the only providers that earn interest on a consistent basis.
  • Following Grameen, most microlenders in Bangladesh and many others worldwide charge interest on a “flat” rate, in which principal and interest payments are included in weekly installments of a fixed unvarying size.
  • 선진국의 모기지 상환 방식과의 대비.
  • ( ... ... )

From the Saver’s Point of View  (p. 169/178 - 178/186)

   ( ... 약 10쪽의 꽤 많은 공간을 할애하여 저축자의 행동과 숫자 계산 사례 ... )

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