Business Education India

Ask why banks don’t lend money to poor, Nobel winner Yunus tells IIM-C students

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate and microfinance pioneer Muhammad Yunus on Tuesday urged management students to question why banks don’t lend money to poor people.

Discussing the inception of his Grameen Bank, he said: “The whole question is has it impacted in the conventional banks, has it made changes in the banking system? No.”

“They still continue to do what they do and mess up the whole world in the process,” Yunus said at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta while delivering the Arijit Mukherji Memorial Lecture.

He shared his insights on ‘The World of Three Zeros: Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Carbon Emissions’ with the students and exhorted them to break the status quo.

“So this is what you learn in the school what a banking system is. So you should be raising a question. Why banks don’t lend money to poor people? Why don’t you design your own banking system… this is the banking system it should be.

“The conclusion is don’t accept what you learn, learning is one thing, accepting is something else. Don’t accept. If you accept you become the prisoner of this world.”

Emphasising on the concept of “destroying the whole idea of collateral”, Yunus said his banking system succeeded because he did the reverse of conventional banks.

“I just look at conventional banks… I learn how do they do it I just come back and do the reverse. So we created the bank and defied all the rules and everything I have done ever since is basically a series of defiance. I defied one after another. I defied banking rules.

“They tried to catch me in every way but it still continued. They tried to stop in every way. Once people need something you can’t stop,” he added, stressing on job-creation rather than job-seeking.

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