Nepal's best bank for microfinance 2019: Mega Bank
Launched in 2010 with paid-up capital of $14.8 million, Mega Bank has cleared every obstacle placed in its way. Size is no longer an issue, thanks to five judiciously timed and priced acquisitions and mergers, and its local initial public offering, in 2013, was 22 times oversubscribed.
Under the leadership of chief executive Anupama Khunjeli, Mega Bank is now one of the best-capitalized lenders in the country – and one of the largest, with 102 branches. From the outset, Mega Bank focused its attention on micro-finance, bringing micro-credit and micro-deposit services to people’s doorsteps, along with mobile banking, debit cards and a fast-growing remittance services business.
In the 12 months to the middle of July 2018 (a period that tracks the country’s financial calendar), total outstanding loans at its micro-credit unit jumped to $42.6 million, up 125% from a year earlier, while the total number of customers rose roughly 50% to 4,412.
About 7% of all lending is micro in nature, against an industry standard of 5%. Everything is simplified, which is essential in a country with a high illiteracy rate and where financial inclusion remains a work in progress.
So, micro-credit, commonly known in Nepal as Saral karja or easy credit, uses simple forms and formats wherever it exists, and the bank leans heavily on technology to cut costs, accelerate the loan approval process and crunch the numbers.
Mega Bank’s micro-finance team tours the country, meeting new and existing clients, keeping customers educated and up-to-date on services and terms, and ensuring they don’t fall behind on repayments or struggle to access credit.