Why microfinance institutions in Bolivia have virtually ignored savings
The Private Financial Fund is a category of regulated microfinance institution (MFI) in Bolivia that is allowed to accept deposits from the public. This article examines Bolivia's four main regulated MFIs – BancoSol, Caja Los Andes, FIE and Prodem – and finds that they have mobilized few deposits compared to banks, or compared to similar institutions elsewhere. It suggests that the availability of cheaper and easier donor funding is a disincentive to raising capital from depositors, and explains the internal obstacles to savings mobilization on the part of the MFIs. Recommendations for reform are suggested, in view of the fact that all regulated MFIs in Bolivia are likely eventually to become licensed banks.