Johannesburg/Lilongwe, August 16, 2007
— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, announced today that it will
work with Malawi’s NBS Bank on increasing lending to smaller businesses,
which face difficulties in accessing credit across much of Sub-Saharan
The $3 million loan is provided under an IFC program that boosts lending
to smaller businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa by investing in and providing
advisory services to local banks. Loans will be drawn from a finance facility
of up to $200 million that has been approved by IFC’s Board for the entire
“NBS Bank constantly strives to offer an innovative range of products
for our clients,” said John Biziwick, NBS Bank’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Our collaboration with IFC will enable us to better serve micro, small,
and medium enterprises and reach a larger number of businesses across Malawi.”
IFC is currently considering 20 banks in 17 African countries in the first
round of the initiative. Each investment will be coupled with an
extensive package of advisory services from consulting companies that IFC
has selected based on their expertise in promoting lending to smaller firms.
NBS is the second bank to work with IFC under the program, following an
agreement in March 2007 with Burkina Faso’s Banque Agricole et Commerciale
IFC’s advisory services to NBS will focus on expanding the bank’s range
of loan products, raising its credit risk management practices, and helping
increase its reach to smaller businesses.
“Small and medium enterprises drive the economies of many African countries,
and increasing support to them is one of IFC's strategic priorities in
the region,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Our support to NBS will help entrepreneurs in Malawi realize their potential
and provide new opportunities for smaller businesses.”
“Limited access to finance is a key constraint to private sector growth
in Africa, especially for smaller firms that have minimal influence on
policy reform,” said Jyrki Koskelo, IFC Director for Global Financial
Markets. “IFC is pleased to work with NBS to address some of these impediments,
enabling smaller businesses to grow further and contribute more fully to
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing
private sector investment, mobilizing capital in the international financial
markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments.
IFC’s vision is that poor people have the opportunity to escape poverty
and improve their lives. In FY06, IFC committed $8.3 billion, including
syndications, to 284 investments in 66 developing countries. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.
About NBS Bank
NBS Bank, formerly the New Building
Society, was the only licensed provider of mortgages in Malawi until 2003.
It was privatized in 2003 following the liberalization of financial services.
In 2004, the shareholders of NBS decided to convert the building society
into a full-fledged commercial bank. With total assets of $64 million,
NBS provides a wide range of financial services to 250,000 clients through
a network of 12 branches and 13 agencies. For more information, visit www.nbsmw.com.