The member-based Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) constitute a rapidly growing segment of the Rural Financial Market (RFM) in Bangladesh. Microcredit programs (MCP) in Bangladesh are implemented by various formal financial institutions (nationalized commercial banks and specialized banks), specialized government organizations and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). The growth in the MFI sector, in terms of the number of MFI as well as total membership, was phenomenal during the 1990s and continues till today.
Despite the fact that more than a thousand of institutions are operating microcredit programs, but only 10 large Microcredit Institutions (MFIs) and Grameen Bank represent 87% of total savings of the sector and 81% of total outstanding loan of the sector. Through the financial services of microcredit, the poor people are engaging themselves in various income generating activities and around 30 million poor people are directly benefited from microcredit programs.
Credit services of this sector can be categorized into six broad groups: i) general microcredit for small-scale self employment based activities, ii) microenterprise loans, iii) loans for ultra poor, iv) agricultural loans, v) seasonal loans, and vi) loans for disaster management. Currently, 599 institutions (as of October 10 2011) have been licensed by MRA to operate Micro Credit Programs. But, Grameen Bank is out of the jurisdiction of MRA as it is operated under a distinct legislation- Grameen Bank Ordinance, 1983.