MICRO FINANCING BUSINESS PROCLAMATION NO. 626/2009 DOWNLOAD (PDF)
WHEREAS, micro-financing institutions play an important role in providing access to financial services to rural farmers and people engaged in other similar activities as well as micro and small-scale rural and urban entrepreneurs;
WHEREAS, it is necessary to have an appropriate legal framework that further enhances the development and soundness of the micro-financing business;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “Micro-Financing Business Proclamation No. 626/2009”
In this Proclamation, unless the context requires otherwise:
1/“authorized institution” mean any financial institution licensed by National Bank to carry on micro-financing business;
2/“chief executive officer” mean a person, by whatever title that person may be referred to, who is primarily responsible for the day-to-day management of the affairs of micro-financing institution;
3/“company” mean a share company as defined under the Commercial Code of Ethiopia in which the capital is wholly owned by Ethiopian nationals or organizations wholly owned by Ethiopian nationals, and registered under the laws of, and having its head office in Ethiopia;
4/“compulsory savings” mean mandatory deposits made for the purpose of enabling the individuals or groups making the savings to qualify to receive loans from an authorized institution and to serve as collateral against the loans so obtained;
5/“director” mean any member of the board of directors of a micro-financing institution, by whatever title he may be referred to;
6/“financial institution” mean insurance company, bank, micro-financing institution, postal savings, money transfer institution or such other similar institution as determined by the National Bank;
7/“financial lease” mean a type of leasing by which a lessor provides a lessee against payment of mutually agreed installments over a specified period with the use of specified capital goods which is:
a)either already acquired by the lessor; or
b)purchased by the lessor from a third party, known as the supplier, chosen and specified by the lessee;
and under which the lessor shall retain full ownership right on the capital goods during the period of the lease agreement, and subject to agreement between the two parties, the lessee may have an option to purchase the capital good outright after the termination of the lease period at an agreed price;
8/“financial year” mean the financial year of a micro-financing institution running from July1st to June 30th of the following year;
9/ “group guarantee” mean a guarantee mechanism whereby a group of borrowers undertake to be liable jointly and severally for the repayment of a loan taken from an authorized institution in the event of default by any one of them;
10/“micro-financing business” mean the provision of financial services as specified under Article 3(2) of this Proclamation by authorized institution;
11/“micro-financing institution” mean a company licensed under this Proclamation to engage in micro-financing business in rural and urban areas and other activities specified under Article 3(2) of this Proclamation;
12/“National Bank” mean the National Bank of
13/“person” mean any natural or juridical person;
14/“qualification of competency” mean required education, experience, fitness and propriety as prescribed by directives to be issued by the National Bank;
15/ “receiver” mean the National Bank or a person appointed by the National Bank to take control of a problem micro-financing institution for the purpose of restructuring its operations in order to make it sound or to terminate the existence of such institution;
16/“voluntary savings” mean any deposit made with an authorized institution, which may be withdrawn partially or totally at any time by the account holder;
17/“senior officer” mean any officer of a micro-finance institution who is deputy to the chief executive officer or is directly reporting to the board of directors.
18/ any expression in the masculine gender includes the feminine.
3. Purpose and Activity of Micro-Financing Institutions
1/ The main purpose of a micro-financing institution shall be to collect deposits and extend credit to rural and urban farmers and people engaged in other similar activities as well as micro and small scale rural and urban entrepreneurs, the maximum amount of which may be determined by the National Bank.
2/ Subject to conditions set under this Proclamation, a micro-financing institution may engage in some or all of the following:
a) accepting both voluntary and compulsory savings as well as demand and time deposits;
b) extending credit to rural and urban farmers and people engaged in other similar activities as well as micro and small-scale rural and urban entrepreneurs;
c) drawing and accepting drafts payable within Ethiopia;
d) micro-insurance business as prescribed by directive to be issued by the National Bank;
e) purchasing income-generating financial instruments such as treasury bills and other short term instruments as the National Bank may determine as appropriate;
f) acquiring, maintaining and transferring any movable and immovable property including premises for carrying out its business;
g) supporting income generating projects of urban and rural micro and small scale operators;
h) rendering managerial, marketing, technical and administrative advice to customers and assisting them to obtain services in those fields;
i) managing funds for micro and small scale businesses;
j) providing local money transfer services;
k) providing financial leasing services to peasant farmers, micro and small-scale urban and rural entrepreneurs in accordance with the Capital Goods Leasing Business Proclamation No. 103/1998; and
l) engaging in other activities as specified by directives of the National Bank from time to time.
LICENSING MICRO-FINANCING BUSINESS
4. Requirement of Obtaining License
1/ It is prohibited to engage in micro-financing business without obtaining a license from the National Bank; provided however, that banks licensed under the appropriate law may engage in micro-financing business without a separate micro-financing business license.
2/ Where the National Bank has reason to believe that a person, in contravention of sub-article (1) of this Article, is advertising for or soliciting deposits of money or transacting micro—financing business, it may, in order to ascertain the situation, require that all books, minutes, accounts, cash, securities, records, vouchers and other documents which are in the possession or custody of such person be submitted to it and inspect or cause the inspection of the same.
5. Conditions of Licensing
1/ The following conditions shall be fulfilled to secure a micro-financing business license:
a)a duly completed application in the prescribed format and other accompanying documents as specified by the National Bank shall be submitted;
b)an investigation fee, as specified by the National Bank, shall be paid at the time of submitting the application;
c)the institution shall be formed as a company and its memorandum and articles of association shall be approved by the National Bank before registration with the appropriate government organ;
d)all its issued shares shall be subscribed and, at a minimum, a quarter of the subscribed shares shall be fully paid in cash;
e)the minimum paid-up capital prescribed by the National Bank shall be paid in cash and deposited in a blocked account in a bank in the name of the prospective micro-financing institution;
f)the directors and the chief executive officer of the institution shall meet the qualification of competency prescribed by the National Bank and their appointment shall be approved by the National Bank.
2/ Without prejudice to the requirements specified under sub-article(1) of this Article, the National Bank may issue directives to prescribe additional conditions of licensing.
6. Issuance of License
1/The National Bank shall decide on a micro-financing business license application within 60 days from the last date of receipt of all information to be submitted in accordance with Article 5 of this Proclamation.
2/ The license shall be issued upon payment of the licensing fee prescribed by the National Bank.
3/ A license granted by the National Bank pursuant to this Proclamation shall constitute final authorization to carry on a micro-financing business.
4/ Where the National Bank amends the conditions of licensing in accordance with sub article (2) of Article 5 of this Proclamation, it shall notify the amendments to the concerned micro-financing institutions thirty days before the date on which the amendment becomes effective.
5/ In accordance with the directive to be issued by the National Bank, micro-financing institutions may open branches.
7. Renewal of License
The National Bank may issue directives on conditions of renewal of micro-financing business license.
8. Revocation of License
1/ The National Bank may revoke the license of a micro-financing institution where:
a)it is confirmed that the license was issued on the basis of false information; or
b)the institution has failed to commence operations within 12 months following the grant of the license.
2/ The decision to revoke the license of a micro-financing institution shall be published by the National Bank in a newspaper widely circulating at the place where the head office of the micro-financing institution is situated.
3/Revocation of license of a micro-financing institution shall become effective on the date of its publication or on any other date as the National Bank may specify.
4/Any micro-financing institution shall be prohibited from engaging in any micro-financing business starting from the effective date of the revocation of its license.
5/ Any person aggrieved by the decision of the
National Bank to revoke the license of a micro-financing institution in accordance with sub-article (1) of this Article may petition to the Federal High Court within 30 days from the effective date of the revocation.
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