What scope is there for the pursuit of explicit development goals in the context of increasing integration of specialized microfinance and commercial banking sectors? This question and the idea of mission drift is first analyzed using a model that distinguishes between institutions' financial and social performance possibilities, preferences, and assessment systems. The model is used to review findings from action research with an international sample of poverty oriented microfinance institutions that suggest some simple steps for improved social performance management. It is then used to illustrate the relationship between social and financial performance more widely across the retail financial services sector, and to offer pointers for more policy analysis at this level. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.