Press Releases

IFC’s $50 Million for Panama’s Banco General to Increase Mortgages to Low-income Households

In Panama City, Panama:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC
Phone: 51-1-611-2521

In Washington, D.C.:
John McNally, IFC
Phone: (202) 458-0723

In Panama City, Panama:
Jacqueline Souter, Banco General
Phone: (507) 303-7534

Panama City, Panama, August 25, 2011—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with Banco General S.A. to support the growth of residential-mortgage lending to low-income households in Panama.  

Banco General is the leading mortgage lender in Panama with more than 55 years of experience and has been a partner of IFC since 2000.  IFC will provide $50 million in long-term financing of seven years; and Banco General will be able to match the maturity needed to finance low-income mortgage lending.

Speaking at the signing of the financing deal in Panama City today, Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, said, “IFC is deepening a strategic partnership with Banco General to increase access to mortgages. IFC’s support will help Banco General expand financing for families whose annual incomes are near or below the median income level in Panama.”

“We are pleased with IFC’s support to expand Banco General S.A. low-income mortgage portfolio. This agreement demonstrates the commitment of both institutions to promote the growth of markets that are critical for Panama’s sustainable development, such as affordable housing,” said Raul Aleman, Banco General’s CEO.
This financing is consistent with IFC’s strategy in Panama to support private sector companies in Panama that have a strong development impact, particularly in strategic sectors such as the financial industry to promote access to underserved sectors, infrastructure, and renewable energy.  As of July 2011, IFC’s committed investment portfolio in Panama totaled $533 million.  Part of this portfolio includes IFC’s support to the Panama Canal expansion plan.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit

About Banco General
Banco General is Panama’s largest private retail bank, with leading market positions in local mortgage loans, local corporate loans, and local deposits; with more than 490,000 clients, 3,200 employees and 59 office branches in Panama. Since 1997, Banco General has held International Investment Grade from Standard and Poor’s and Fitch Ratings. The institution is recognized for its financial strength, solid leadership, and permanent commitment to the community. For more information, please visit