Ethiopia - Apply for a Microfinance Bank License
Ethiopia has a separate legal framework to govern the microfinance activities of the Microfinance Banks (MFBs). The MFBs are licensed and regulated by the National Bank of Ethiopia Directives No. MFI/23/2013. Considering the separate needs and dynamics of microfinance, National Bank of Ethiopia has in place a separate regulatory and supervisory framework for MFBs.
To promote the mainstreaming of microfinance into overall financial system, National Bank of Ethiopia encourages creation of new MFBs and transformation of existing operationally sustainable MFIs into MFBs. The presence of a large potential market and availability of an enabling policy environment offer the opportunities for both social and commercial investors to explore this segment of the financial market.
The licensing, regulation and supervision of MFBs established under MFIs Ordinance has been entrusted to National Bank of Ethiopia. No institution/person can commence operations as Microfinance Bank unless granted license by the National Bank of Ethiopia.
- A Micro finance bank may be established by any eligible corporate body or corporation duly licensed by the National bank of Ethiopia to Receive Deposits and pay cash to customers of the bank.
- A Microfinance Bank applicant must be an Ethiopian Nationality.
- All Individual or company registered for Bank Business in Ethiopia with the registrar of Companies.
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- No person shall carry out a Microfinace Bank business unless he/she is in possession of a Microfinance Bank business License.
- A person who fails to contravenes or fail to comply with section shall be guilt of any offence and shall be dealt with in accordance with law.
- Full Name of Applicant
- Address of Applicant
- Location of Foreign Exchange Bureau
- License Number
- A tax clearance certificate.
- Evidence of provisional tax payment
- Full names, addresses and designations of the employees of the bureau.
- Proof of legal identification. Your national driver's license or international passport are the best for this.
- Proof of legal address. House rent receipts, and utility bills stating your house address are acceptable.
- Bank statement. Not all Authorities require this except for further verification purpose or alternatives.
- Utility Bill Receipt. Some Authorities require this to further verify your legal identity and proof of social responsibility.
- The steps to follow in applying for a microfinance bank licence are as shown below
- Stage 1 - Approval of Name
- a) Contact the National Bank of Ethiopia at an early stage for a preliminary meeting to discuss licensing requirements and related issues.
- b) Propose and book, in descending order of preference, at least three business names with the Registrar of Companies and Business Names.
- c) Submit the proposed names to the National Bank of Ethiopiain descending order of preference accompanied by a brief concept paper on the proposed Micro finance Bank, including evidence of sources and availability of capital. This should be done before incorporation of the proposed entity as a company limited by shares.
- d) The proposed name must incorporate the words “Microfinance Bank” e.g. XYZ Microfinance Bank Limited
- e) The name approval is valid for 12 months from the date it’s granted by the national Bank of Ethiopia within which you should have received a licence to carry out microfinance bank business.
- Stage 2 - Application for Licence
a) Complete and submit a certified Application Form [Form 1 of the First Schedule to the Microfinance (Deposit Taking Microfinance Institutions) Regulations 2008] to National Bank of Ethiopia accompanied by all supporting documents, including:
- i. Certified copy of the Certificate of Incorporation.
- ii. Certified copy of the tax Personal Identification Number (PIN) certificate.
- iii. Certified copy of the registered Memorandum and Articles of Association indicating core capital (at least 20 million Birr or 60 million for community and nationwide microfinance bank business, respectively). For community microfinance bank business, indicate the area of operation as District or Division; if operating in a city, attach the supporting Government administrative map(s).
- iv. Verified official notification of the company’s registered place of business, including the prospective places of business (Head Office, branches, agency and outlets, if any).
- v. Pay a non-refundable application fee of 3,000Birr to the National Bank of Ethiopia by Bankers cheque or by such other mode of payment as the National Bank may prescribe.
- vi. A declaration witnessed by an advocate or Commissioner of Oaths indicating that the proposed entity has no existing scheme of arrangement with its creditors.
b) Provide evidence of minimum core capital ( 20 million and 60 million for a “community” and “nationwide” microfinance bank business, respectively):
- i. Evidence should be reflected in a bank statement of a licensed bank indicating the earmarked funds (attach letter from the bank) and/or Government of Ethiopia Treasury Bills and Bonds not under lien.
- ii. Evidence should either be in the name of the company and/or the promoters/ shareholders of the company.
- iii. The promoters/shareholders should give the national Bank authority to verify the authenticity of the bank statement directly from the bank.
- iv. The promoters/shareholders should provide the distribution or allocation (ultimate beneficiaries, citizenship, amount and percentage) of core capital to each individual promoter/shareholder and/or company, indicating significant shareholders/promoters (owning at least 10% of the share capital).
- v. Certified statements indicating that the entity and each of the shareholders and officers are tax compliant. The current Tax Compliant Certificate should be provided.
c) Prepare and submit a comprehensive feasibility study and business plan covering but not limited to:
- i. executive summary;
- ii. background;
- iii. governance structure including ownership;
- iv. audited financial statements, where applicable and projected financial statements for at least three years;
- v. SWOT analysis;
- vi. economic and financial markets environment;
- vii. financial sector structure and environment;
- viii. institutional analysis;
- ix. potential market survey;
- x. scope of proposed business activities and marketing strategy;
- xi. capital, liquidity and portfolio quality;
- xii. proposed projected financial statements and analysis;
- xiii. legal and regulatory compliance function, and
- xiv. proposed infrastructure and internal controls;
- xv. High level outlines of the proposed Risk management policies and procedures and internal control systems manual.
d) Duly complete and submit the “Fit and Proper Forms” for all significant shareholders (at least 10% shareholding) and proposed directors accompanied by supporting documentation (certified) including:-
- For individual natural persons
- i. Curriculum Vitae and certified copies of academic and professional certificates.
- ii. Evidence and disclosure of the source of funds e.g. certified copies of bank statements, fixed deposits and/or government securities.
- iii. Certified copies of National Identity Card and Personal Identification Number (PIN) certificate.
- iv. Total number and the percentage of shares to be acquired and evidence of the consideration given or to be given for the same.
- v. Four recent colour passport size photographs, of which at least one must be certified.
- vi. Names of three independent referees who have known the proposed shareholder/officer for at least 5 years, giving detailed contacts including postal addresses, e-mail and telephone numbers.
- vii. A recent (i.e. not more than three months since issuance) credit report from a licensed credit reference bureau.
- viii. A declaration witnessed by an advocate indicating that none of the funds the shareholder seeks to invest are from proceeds of crime as required in Section 4.6 (a) of the Application Form (Significant shareholders)
- ix. An affidavit that none of the proposed directors or significant shareholders holds or owns a similar position in any other microfinance bank in Ethiopia (Directors) licenced under the Microfinance Act.
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- Requirements to obtain microfinance business license include the following
- Pre-application phase
- Evidence of registration of trade name from Ministry of Trade and/or Regional Trade Bureau.
- Signed minutes of first meeting of organizers along with attendance sheet.
- Submission of prospectus, which is a printed statement that describes and forecasts the course or nature of the company along with expected risks, to be distributed to prospective investors.
- Written application requesting to open blocked subscription account indicating the name of the bank(s)/branch (es).
- Duly completed application form, as specified under Attachments I and II of these Directives, for organizers and project manager.
- Properly completed propriety test questionnaire, as specified under Attachment III of these Directives, for organizers and project manager.
- Evidences of payment of investigation fee.
- Application processing licensing fee of birr 1,000.
- investigation fee of birr which is between 250 to 1,000 Birr;
- Shall pay initial registration fees prescribed by the ministry of Trade and industries for registration of Memorandum and Articles of Association.
Valid for 5 yearsr
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Processing take 60 days
- National Bank of Ethiopia
Tel:+251-11 551 7430
Fax:+251-11 551 4588
- You can Visit the following link for Various Offices in National Bank Of Ethiopia
- Ministry of Trade and Industry
P.O.Box 704 Addis Ababa
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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
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