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Armenia

Until 2006, microfinance in Armenia was provided predominantly by foundations. However, the Law on Credit Organizations of 2002 shifted the microfinance landscape. Today, microfinance is dominated by a few key institutions, organized predominantly as universal credit organizations. No credit organizations are allowed to take deposits. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) are largely the descendants of previous microfinance foundations which were either branches of foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or domestic foundations funded by international sources. Recent efforts to increase the role of banks in microfinance have received international multilateral and bilateral support, although the microfinance sector as a whole remains heavily donor-driven with limited funding coming from local sources. The Central Bank of Armenia regulates both bank and non-bank financial institutions, and is also responsible for licensing credit organizations.

mix-market

Regulators

Microfinance & Banking

Consumer Protection

Armenia has recently introduced a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework for consumer protection in the financial sector. The Central Bank of Armenia, which has supervisory authority in the field of consumer protection, established a separate dedicated department on consumer protection, which operates within the Central Bank. In 2008, the Central Bank of Armenia initiated policy reforms to increase public confidence towards the financial system and enhance financial mediation, which resulted in the enactment of the following three laws related to consumer protection: Law on Consumer Credit, Law on Attraction of Banking Deposits, and Law on Financial System Mediator. Additionally, in 2009, the Central Bank of Armenia issued several regulations addressing certain provisions of these laws.

Branchless Banking