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IFC and Myanmar Citizens Bank sign agreement to transform banking in Myanmar


In Vietnam
Van Anh Chu, IFC
Phone: +84 24 3937 8745
Email: canh1@ifc.org


Yangon, August 14, 2019—The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with the Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB) that will increase access to finance for businesses, smaller enterprises and individuals.

Under the agreement, IFC will provide advice to MCB to undertake a project to transform its business operations, creating a secure foundation that will help support future prosperity in Myanmar.

The project will be delivered over two years and will focus on optimizing products and channels; improving branch and sales networks; optimizing credit and risk management strategies as well as streamlining organizational management.

“Successfully implementing this transformation project will significantly strengthen our SME and retail banking segments and will help thousands of businesses in Myanmar gain access to better banking,” said U Toe Aung Myint, Chairman of MCB.

According to Findex in 2017 it was estimated that only around 26 percent of adults in Myanmar have an account at a financial institution. For businesses, just 7 percent of small and medium enterprises have a line of credit or loan, and 56 percent of enterprises in Myanmar do not have a savings or checking account (UNCDF 2018).

“Emerging from the long-term banking restrictions, smaller domestic banks in Myanmar operate in a challenging environment. The nation’s banking sector is now one of the least developed in the region,” said Vikram Kumar, IFC Country Manager for Myanmar. “Complementing the government’s banking reforms over the past few years, IFC and MCB are building to a more stable and robust banking environment, which will increase investor confidence in Myanmar.”

By increasing MCB's ability to better serve SMEs, IFC will contribute to the increasing access to finance, accelerating much needed growth of credit to Myanmar’s expanding private sector, particularly for smaller businesses.

Aligning with the Myanmar Government’s Sustainable Development Plan to 2030 and with IFC’s goals to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity, IFC has already invested in two other projects to boost Myanmar’s banking sector. Providing access to banking services which were previously unavailable is one of the first steps to alleviating poverty.

About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than US$23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

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About MCB
Since its establishment in 1992, Myanmar Citizens Bank has been a pioneer in the banking industry in our country. Over the years the bank has contributed to the different sectors in the economy covering Agriculture, Manufacturing. Service and trading sectors and we have impacted and enriched the livelihood of thousands of our fellow countrymen. The bank is active in SME and Retail segments with a wide ranging product offerings such as Loans, overdrafts, Hire Purchase, Remittance services, International Trade Services, Deposits to cater to the needs of our customers. In terms of its total assets, MCB is ranked a mid-tier bank in this country with a branch network of 43 branches covering most parts of the country and a total staff strength of over 860. MCB was the first bank to be listed in the Yangon Stock Exchange in August 2016. In an era of constant change, technological advancement, more stringent regulations and corporate governance in the banking industry, MCB commenced on a transformation journey to modernize itself with international standard best practices a few years back. The bank acknowledges the need to strive for innovation and enhanced efficiency through technology. Through digitization initiatives and a corporate rebranding, MCB has been taking significant steps to reinvent its banking operation and redefine its identity. With our solid foundations and good reputation, we strive to further develop into a dynamic, nimble and innovative banking institution for SME, Retail and Corporate customers.