Responsible Investment Management and Advisory Services

Triple Jump Meets Social Performance Task Force Members in Mexico

In June, Triple Jump attended the annual meeting of the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) in Mexico. The financial inclusion sector in Mexico is a particularly interesting one from the perspective of social performance. The growth of microfinance, predominantly through very small group loans to women, has been spectacular and enabled access to finance in some of the most marginalized communities of the country. However, the sector is also known for the high interest rates charged to borrowers. Due to this, Triple Jump reduced its portfolio in Mexico significantly over the past five years, from 11 investees in 2012 to only three today.

Incidentally, the SPTF annual meeting coincided with the finalization of a research paper co-sponsored by Triple Jump entitled “Study on Microcredit Interest Rates in Mexico”. The paper – which was presented at the meeting and will be published in the coming weeks on our website – identifies some of the top issues that need to be addressed to make microfinance more affordable for clients in Mexico. We hope that the study will encourage further discussion on this topic, as we are eager to find partners that are able to provide valuable services at affordable prices in the region.

During the SPTF annual meeting, Triple Jump also participated in a panel on responsible pricing, and like every year, we had the opportunity to meet with our peers within the Social Investors Working Group and make progress on some of the SPM topics that have been identified as priorities by the group. Of particular interest this year was a new initiative to develop standards for assessing social performance of SME lenders and a session where we explored the implications of digital financial services on client protection. Finally, the group also shared experience in using the SPI4-Alinus scorecard and looked at the possibilities it offers to benchmark our SPM results.

We are glad to be able to convene with our peer investors in such occasions to discuss social performance, as it is only with a concerted action of a broad group of players that we can have a meaningful impact on the sector, such as helping Mexican borrowers to gain access to more affordable microfinance services.

Happy readings,
Christophe Bochatay
Manager Social Performance and Impact