Microfinance body to launch helpline for AP customers

Hyderabad, Feb 1 (PTI) The apex body of microfinanceinstitutions (MFIs) in the country today said it is launchinga helpline number for borrowers in Andhra Pradesh as a part ofits initiative towards self regulation.

The number (040-40011095) will be active from tomorrowand is expected to benefit more than 9 million customers inAndhra Pradesh, one of the key markets for the micro lenders,Micro Finance Institutions Network ((MFIN) said in a release.

MFIN represents 44 RBI-registered micro finance firmswho are facing a tough time in AP due to stringent regulationbrought in by the State Government in the wake of suicide byborrowers due to alleged coercive recovery methods.

"The helpline will not only assist the customers toexpress their concerns and issues, but also provide the 15 RBI-registered NBFCs, which are members of the MFIN-AP chapter, aplatform to connect with their customers," Alok Prasad, ChiefExecutive Officer, MFIN, said.

To provide transparency to the system, a registrationnumber will be issued to the customer, who can avail of theservice by providing loan passbook or loan card accountnumber, MFIN said.

MFIN has suggested to the MFIs to process the customerrequest through their database. "Based on the nature of thecomplaint, the response time to process the client''s requestwill be informed by the respective MFI to MFIN and thecustomer simultaneously," the release said here.

The customer, if unsatisfied with the response, canraise the issue again with the same helpline number, it said,adding if complaints are made about unregistered entities,they will be brought to the Government''s notice.

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