Armenian microfinance legal and regulatory update
For the past two years the USAID/Armenia Micro Enterprise Development Initiative (MEDI) has been actively working towards clarifying and
improving the legal and regulatory environment for microfinance in Armenia. Today, we are pleased to report that MEDI is about to achieve this critical goal, the realization of which has enormous positive implications for the future development and expansion of microfinance in Armenia.
Since MEDI last reported on this effort in the May 2004 issue of the Policy Monitor, a great deal has occurred. Specifically, at the time of the last article, the main issue facing MEDI’s efforts in this area surrounded who would regulate microfinance, as opposed to how it would be regulated. (The two potential regulators, the Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA), both agreed to the general principle that non-depository
microfinance in Armenia should be regulated in a non-prudential manner.) In short, this was an issue that the Government of Armenia needed to resolve internally and MEDI went out of its way not to recommend one government body over the other, so long as any new regulations or laws that were developed were based on global best practices as defined by CGAP.