Kathmandu, Nepal, November 24, 2009─IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, is helping microfinance institutions
and banks in Nepal discuss strategies for expanding financial access by
mobilizing deposits and using banking technologies such as payment cards,
mobile phones, and retail agents.
Microfinance institutions, banks, payment
providers, regulators, and development partners from Nepal along with institutions
from Bangladesh and India participated in the discussions at a workshop
hosted by IFC at the request of the Nepal Rastra Bank.
Senior executives from Nepal Rastra
Bank, Nirdhan Bank, Everest Bank, Bangladesh’s BRAC Bank, and Indian firms
BASIX and FINO, were among those participating in the workshop on Expanding
Access to Finance in Nepal: The Opportunity of Deposits and Banking Technologies.
The conference was organized by SouthAsia
Enterprise Development Facility, managed by IFC in partnership with the
United Kingdom’s Department for International Development and the Norwegian
Agency for Development Cooperation. Participants shared experiences, best
practices, and innovations in other developing and emerging economies
to explore opportunities for deposit mobilization and use of innovative
technology in Nepal.
Bijaya Nath Bhattarai, Governor, Nepal
Rastra Bank, said, “By engaging in a dialogue involving all the
stakeholders, the workshop provides an opportunity to exchange ideas and
determine how financial services can be extended beyond the current coverage
of 30 percent of Nepal’s population. “
Microfinance institutions and banks
discussed technologies that can transform and expand financial services.
They also outlined the needed business models and regulatory framework
required and shared experiences in Nepal and the South Asia region.
Speaking at the workshop, Anil Sinha,
IFC General Manager for Advisory Services in South Asia, said: "The
workshop provides a platform for microfinance institutions and banks to
make financial services accessible to underserved people in Nepal, particularly
those in rural areas who lack access to banks.”
By working closely with microfinance
institutions, banks, and payment providers across South Asia, IFC assists
in strengthening financial institutions and supporting appropriate regulatory
IFC is the only international financial
institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable
development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking
a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for
the poor in developing countries—including by supporting institutions
to extend financial services to underserved communities in Nepal.
To learn more about IFC’s activities
in South Asia, visit www.ifc.org/southasia.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives.
We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting
private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory
and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments
totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing
countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.