Qredits Microfinanciering Nederland has become the first European microcredit provider to be awarded the certificate for compliance with the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision. Other microcredit providers are expected to be certified shortly.
The Commission identified the Code as an important initiative to raise quality standards and ensure ethical practices in the microfinance sector across Europe as the microcredit market in Europe is still young and developing.
In addition, the national legal and institutional frameworks, as well as the providers, are quite diverse. The Code has been developed in close consultation with key stakeholders.
Non-bank microcredit providers have to sign up to the Code as a pre-condition for benefitting from support under the EU's Employment and Social Innovation Programme (EaSI) in the form of
- technical assistance.
- capacity building investments.
The providers have to comply with the Code after a period of 18 months, or 36 months in the case of Greenfield institutions.