3.4. Special Characteristics of Grameen Bank

A bank of poor people:
Grameen Bank is only bank where poor people can access into it. Poor people are not able to go commercial banks due to many difficulties. But there are no difficulties for the poor to get loan from Grameen Bank.

Bank owned by poor:
Grameen Bank is established in 1983 under a special law. It owned by the poor borrowers of the Grameen Bank. it works exclusively for the people. Borrowers of the Grameen Bank at own 95 per cent of the bank.

No collateral no legal document:
Grameen Bank does not require any collateral or any legal documents against its micro loans. Since Grameen Bank does not wish to take any borrowers to court of law in case of non repayment, it does not require the borrowers to sign any legal instrument.

97% are women:
One of the special characteristics of Grameen Bank is that 97% of the borrowers are poor female covering total amount of 8,039,408 of 8,340,624.

No donor money, No loans:
In 1995, Grameen Bank decided not to receive any more donor money. Since then it has not requested any fresh funds from donors. Last installment donor fund , which received in in1998, Grameen Bank does not see any need to take any donor money or even take loans from local or external sources I future.

Low interest Rate:
Government of Bangladesh has fixed interest rate for government–run micro-credit programmes at 11 per cent flat rate it amounts 22 percent at declining basis. Grameen Bank is interest rate is lower than government fixed rate. There four interests rate of Grameen Bank loans.
a) 20% for income generating loans
b) 8% for housing loans
c) 5 % for student's loans
d) O% for loans for struggling people.

Beggar as Member:
Begging is the last option of survival for a poor person, unless he or she turns into crimes or other forms of illegal activities. Among the beggars there are disabled, blind and related people as well as old people with ill health. Grameen Bank has taken up special programmes in 2002, called struggling members programmes exclusively for the beggar. Over 112,615 beggars have joined the programmes. Total amount of Tk. 154.99 million

Grameen Stars:
Grameen Bank has 2565 branches all over the country. GrameenBank provides color-coded stars to branches and staffs for 100 per cent achievement of a specific task. There is maximum five stars branch. A branch or a staff having five stars indicates the highest level of performance.

Table # 01: Grameen Bank Star system for Branches Performance, 2010

Stars ............ Color ........... Achievements .......... Numbers of Branches
1 Star .......... Green ........... 100% repayment ..... 1496
2 Stars ......... Blue ............. Free from loss .......... 2095
3 Stars ......... Violet ........... Self sufficient to run business .. 1903
4 Stars ......... Brown ......... Free from illiteracy ..... 351
5 Stars ......... Red ............. Free from poverty ...... 61
Source: Grameen-info.org