1 6 th African Microfinance Conference Presentation by: Mr. Wilson Twamuhabwa CEO, UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) President AMFIU- Uganda MFI Network Contact:
2 About UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) was incorporated in 1994 as a Non Governmental Organization under the name of Uganda Agency for Development Limited (UGAFODE); an NGO at the time to provide primary affordable financial services to its customers. In September 2010,UGAFODE Microfinance Limited was incorporated as a Company Limited by shares in preparation to transform into an MDI with expanded shareholding from local investors with Uganda Agency for Development Limited (UGAFODE) transferring all its assets and liabilities to the new company. In September, UGAFODE was licensed by the Central Bank of Uganda as a Microfinance Deposit Taking Institution-UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI)
3 About UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) Our Vision: To be the leader in the provision of microfinance services that yield high income in every household served. Mission: To promote economic, social and holistic transformation of our customers through provision of Quality Microfinance Services in a manner that improves household income. Branch network UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) is focused on being the leading Microfinance Institution in Uganda and it currently has 12 branches country wide offering a variety of financial services with the Micro Enterprise Sector hitherto remaining the main target market.
4 About UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) Products and Services Our Savings Products: Ordinary Savings Account, Fixed Deposit Account, Institutional Savings Account, Junior Savings Account and Target Savings Account. Other services: Insurance Money transfers-mobile money services Our Loan Products Asset Acquisition loan Agricultural loan Flexible Housing loan Micro Business loan Micro Mortgage loan School fees Loan, Salary Loan, SME Loans
5 Why we introduced the Housing Loan product A) Flexible Housing Loan- [Piloted between Dec/2007 and June/2009, then fully implemented] An extensive research in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Uganda in 2006, revealed a need by our customers for low cost housing loan product. Commercial banks were mainly concentrating on financing the demand (mortgage) side. This is so because mortgages provide more definite security, given that it is tied to the income of the mortgagee as well as the physical asset itself.
6 Why we introduced the Housing Loan product The average mortgage loan size issued by commercial banks is between US $ 23,000) and Ushs 80 million (US $ 30,000), an amount too high for the low income earners who are our target customers. Our own Loan portfolio analysis/monitoring, revealed that up to 30% of general loan products were being diverted for housing purposes hence the need for a housing loan product.
7 Key Partnerships: Habitat for Humanity Uganda (HFHU) After extensive research, HFHU implemented a pilot wholesale finance programme to stimulate greater access to housing microfinance through a partnership with a microfinance institution, Uganda Agency for Development Limited (UGAFODE). The pilot occurred between December 2007 and June 2009 and was successful. HFHU provided UGX 330,000,000 (USD 165,6631) to UGAFODE in wholesale funding.
8 Key Partnerships Subsequent wholesale funding was disbursed by HFHU to UGAFODE ML (MDI) after the pilot. The partnership with HFHU enabled UGAFODE ML (MDI) to introduce a housing micro-loan, called the Flexible Housing Loan.
9 Key product Attributes Flexible Housing Loan Loan Amount ranging from Shs.200,000 (US$ 80) to Shs.3,000,000 (US$ 1,200) Loan term up to 2years Principal Grace period of 1 month; Customer pays only interest in the first month Interest rate: 3% p.m but discounted to 2% if loan funds are put to the intended use.
10 Key product Attributes Discounting At the end of the first month the borrowers performance in terms of using the loan for the purpose stated at disbursement i.e. housing is reviewed. If the borrower used the loan to improve their housing condition, then the monthly interest shall be discounted from 3% to 2% per month. This is aimed at checking diversion of loan funds. Incremental financing: Loans are provided for different stages of construction e.g, roofing, shuttering, Flooring, Plastering, electricity etc. This helps the customers take loans that they can afford to pay, while ensuring progressive improvement in their housing.
11 Why we introduced the Housing Loan product B) Micro Mortgage Loans: Introduced in 2009, but refined in 2012 From a customer satisfaction survey carried out we found out that: Due to increased cost of land and building materials, the loan amount offered under Flexible Housing loan (Maximum US$ 1,200) was not meeting the needs of some customers. NB. Amount was capped by an M.O.U. Many clients expressed need to access loan to buy land, build permanent commercial and residential houses There was need for a longer loan term, hence Micro mortgage loan term of up to 36 months
12 Key Partnerships Stromme Microfinance East Africa (SMF EA Ltd) Stromme has been a long term partner of UGAFODE ML (MDI) through provision of loan funds for our Micro business and Agricultural loans since In 2012,Stromme Microfinance East Africa (SMF EA Ltd) and UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) entered into a collaboration to pilot integrated housing microfinance solutions in Uganda. This collaboration was possible because both institutions pursue the same objective: to deliver relevant and demand driven products - specifically Housing Microfinance to address poverty housing issues of the target group (low income earners)
13 Key Partnerships Through the Housing Microfinance Intervention both institutions have been able to address their Social Performance Management (SPM) agenda as well as a Rights-Based Approach to their work because access to decent and affordable housing is a basic human right Based on a diagnostic study, both SMF EA and UGAFODE ML (MDI) worked together to define a distinct loan product (a Micro- Mortgage Loan Product)
14 Key product attributes B) Micro Mortgage Loans: Loan Amount ranging from US$ 200 to US$ 10,000 Loan term up to 3years Principal Grace period of 6 months; Customer pays only interest in the during grace period Interest rate: 2% p.m
15 Key Product Attributes Incremental financing: Loans are provided for different stages of construction e.g, roofing, shuttering, Flooring, Plastering, electricity etc. This helps the customers take loans that they can afford to pay, while ensuring progressive improvement in their housing. Property to be built/ developed acts as security
16 Example. Credit administrator, credit officer and customer on loan use verification. 1 st loan of 420$ for roofing (paid in 7months) 2 nd loan of 620$ for plastering and shutters, then the client occupies as completion goes on.
17 Example 2. The client received 212$ to strengthen shutters and foundation. (security reasons)
18 Loan of 1260$ to pay for the mason, roofing and shutters before occupancy as completion goes on
19 Client contribution is paramount is housing construction. UGAFODE contributed 1260$, 50% 0n this house under construction.
20 Building is a process, a loan of $1000 approved but disbursed in phases. HOME IMPROVEMENT. Phase 1 US$420 for roofing, started living in. Phase 2 US$290 for strong metallic shutters Phase 3 US$ 290 for plastering before occupancy as completion goes on.
21 A sample of Micro Mortgage Loan of $ 10,000 advanced by UGAFODE ML (MDI) for Roofing a Commercial House Source: client file.
22 A sample of Micro Mortgage Loan of $ 5,000 advanced by UGAFODE ML (MDI) for Plastering and fitting a residential House
23 General product perspective The micro mortgage and Flexible Housing loans have created niche products that have responded to a market demand that has for long not been fully met by other service providers, microfinance institutions (MFIs) and even banking institutions in Uganda. Between June/2006 and July/2013, UGAFODE ML (MDI) disbursed in total over 3,500 Housing loans worth US$ 3,216,825 (Say Three Million, Two Hundred Sixteen Thousand, Eight Hundred Twenty Five US Dollars) This implies over 3,500 houses built in the above period.
24 General product perspective Total Outstanding Housing Loans portfolio volume as at June/2013 was US$ 651,271 to 876 borrowers of which 76% and 24% were male and female clients respectively The Housing products now contributes 11% of UGAFODE ML (MDI) s Total Loan portfolio. Portfolio quality: Average PAR>30days is below 2.5%. There are few cases of default due to limited capacity especially for customers whose major source of income is farming.
25 General product perspective High demand for housing loan facilities call for high capital outlay in terms of loan funds. This calls for funding support. There is a lot of importance attached to the property being developed as this in many cases is the only family Asset. This ensures commitment to repay the loan as the improvement on the house is attributed to help rendered by the Bank. Culturally in Uganda, owning a house is a key factor for recognition in society. This therefore creates an instant demand for housing loan product.
26 Reviewing the UGAFODE ML (MDI) Experience A) Opportunities: Uganda s population is currently estimated at 33.4million people. An estimated 77% rural and Peri-urban dwellers live in sub-standard living conditions. In Kampala alone, a total of 4.8 million people will have no houses to live in by 2025 (UBoS, 2011) These present great opportunities for focused and strategic housing financing for Ugandan MFIs.
27 Opportunities The willingness by our partners SMF E.A Ltd and Habitat to expose staff to other institutions in East and Southern Africa so as to gain a first-hand knowledge and expertise about what is working already. This has saved both time and other resources that would have been spent on trying to re-invent the wheel UGAFODE ML (MDI) received capacity building support for Housing Microfinance training of our staff, as well as support to marketing of the Micro Mortgage FHL Products.
28 Opportunities UGAFODE ML (MDI) benefited from professional approach to product development, and a strong commitment to both its mission and to customer service. UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) leveraged on its existing relationships with SMF EA Ltd & Habitat funders as well as with other social investors and capacity Building agencies.
29 Challenges Requirement for significant amounts of Loan Capital for on-lending. Need for Construction technical assistance: Housing Microfinance unlike any other product creates a need for specialized skills and knowledge in its consumption through aspects of know how on constructing the houses. Low Income levels of Clients: In some instances, there has been a lack of repayment capacity by the clients especially for the low income client (thus affecting their credit absorption capacity)
30 Challenges Land ownership system in Uganda. A lot of land especially in rural areas is customarily owned and not registered. This renders it high risk collateral. Many women do not own land thus limiting access to House credit for women whereas they matter a lot in being home managers. The need for long term loan repayment period by customers whereas MFIs get short term loans from funders. The need for low interest rates by customers whereas MFIs borrow at high interest rates from funders.
31 Key Success Factors Creating Clear roles for the Partners as stated in the M.O.U Institutional Readiness and History in Implementing Housing Finance Products. UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) was able to refine the Flexible Housing Loan Product that had been developed in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Uganda. Precise Product Definition: loan use monitoring is easy to achieve No competition with other existing loan products Lower interest rate compared to other products due to product development strategy and lower cost of funds
32 Key Success Factors Clear and Consistent Staff training prior to Product Launch Effective marketing strategy to ensure client uptake Affordability by the Target Group: Importantly, UGAFODE s Housing Microfinance Products have a clearly defined target group: families with a monthly household income of UGX 130,000 (US$ 50) to UGX 1,300,000 (US$ 500) Funding support from SMF EA and Habitat for Humanity Uganda inform of Loan Funds
33 Key Success Factors Need for Construction Technical Assistance: Over a pilot period, there has been an emerging need to provide Construction technical assistance (CTA) to the MFI and end user. This has been received through client feedback. SMF EA Ltd along with her partners are currently working on a basic CTA package to address the CTA requirements of the Clients. CTA is an augmented service to the Housing Microfinance products and hence increases costs of delivery. Therefore it is paramount that CTA package will consider issues of affordability by the target group as well as sustainability on the part of the institution.
34 Taking Housing Microfinance to Scale The experience generated has highlighted that there is a high demand for housing microfinance, as well as the potential for sustainable delivery. At the moment, housing loans represent 11% of UGAFODE ML (MDI) s overall portfolio, and it is committed to increasing this to 15 per cent by the end of In the long term, it wants to increase housing to be 20 per cent of its portfolio. At the present time, no funds have been identified for product scale up apart from that provided by SMF EA Ltd. Therefore both SMF EA Ltd and UGAFODE ML (MDI) are sourcing for more and alternative funding sources to grow their respective credit lines for housing i.e. wholesale and Retail respectively.
35 Therefore both partners are carefully considering the most effective means of streamlining the product (by making efficiency gains), or even potentially cross subsidizing with its other products. Taking Housing Microfinance to Scale A key consideration for taking this product to scale is the issue of sustainability, particularly in relation to the emerging need to the provision of CTA. UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) and the Housing Microfinance Partners are developing a Basic Construction Technical Assistance Package. However, the only challenge is that introduction of CTA would be an extra service that comes with a cost which will affect the customer.
36 Key Lessons learnt Establishing a strong relationship between partner organizations Getting the Relationship with Target Clients Right: From a perspective of a wholesale lender and capacity building /technical assistance provider, there is an important distinction between considering UGAFODE Microfinance Limited (MDI) as its client, versus seeing its relationship as being with the end users (the MFI s clients) themselves. Correct Timing for implementation of Housing Microfinance The Micro-mortgage product came on board at the time the institution had just received its license as an MDI which boosted customer confidence. Housing loans are like any other loan product. This calls for proper loan assessment/appraisal before disbursement.
37 Conclusion A number of key lessons arose from this experience, which are valuable not just for the pilot collaborators, but the wider microfinance community in the Sub-Saharan Africa region and elsewhere. The lessons mainly revolve around the importance of learning from what others have done to avoid re-inventing the wheel, peer reviews and learning, creating synergies and other forms of effective relationships.
38 Conclusion From creating a strong working relationship between partners, to effectively managing the partners relationships with the end users (clients), it is clear that it is worth the time to systematically agree, develop and maintain the linkages that ultimately facilitate future scale up of Housing Microfinance. Knowing each other s strengths, and bearing in mind the end-user client (customer s needs) is very critical to the success of the process.
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