Press Releases

IFC Partners with Banco Real to Set up Innovative Student Loan Program in Brazil

In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph
Phone: +1 (202) 473 7700

In São Paulo:
Karina Manasseh
Phone: +55 11 5185-6881

Washington, D.C. / São Paulo, Brazil, March 6, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will partner with leading Brazilian bank Banco Real to provide loans to students and working adults to help them complete their university studies. The innovative program will mobilize private resources and increase competitiveness in the sector, while providing alternative sources of financing for those who need it.

IFC and Banco Real will set up a student lending facility for 50 million Brazilian reais (about $29 million). Under the program, students can borrow money to complete their degrees at a participating university and repay most of the loans after graduation. Initially, students will obtain loans for their final three years of study.  Banco Real and IFC have identified a number of institutions as potential candidates for the program and will spend two years rolling out the new product in universities across the country. The project will demonstrate that a sustainable investment can be made in student loans, paving the way for similar programs in the future.

João Consiglio, Banco Real’s Executive Director said, “We are very excited to partner with IFC in this strategic initiative to help students achieve their academic potential. Given Brazil’s improving economy and high demand for university graduates, it is important to provide students with the financial means to improve their lives through higher education.”
Andrew Gunther, IFC Country Manager for Brazil, noted, “Since public expenditure in Brazil has traditionally focused on primary and secondary education, the government is encouraging the private sector to focus on post-secondary education. We are therefore delighted to help Banco Real expand access to university education with this innovative student loan program.”

Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, added, “The inability to pay for post-secondary education contributes to high dropout rates among university students. By providing alternative sources of financing, the project will promote economic equality by giving students a better chance to complete their education, compete in the job market, and improve their lives.”

Ellena commended Banco Real as one of the first of Brazil’s large banks to focus on university students as a distinct market segment within consumer lending and develop a product specifically for them.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit

About Banco Real
Banco Real is the third-largest private bank in Brazil. In 2007 it had R$2.975 million in net profits, an increase of 45 percent over 2006. According to data from Brazil’s Central Bank, Banco Real reached record participation in the Brazilian credit market with 7.1 percent of total market share. Banco Real employs more than 33,000 people, has over 2,000 branches, and more than 9,800 ATMs. In October 2007, Banco Real became part of a consortium with RBS, Fortis, and Santander Banks.