Press Releases

IFC Financing Will Help Mexico’s Banco Compartamos Reach More Women

In Washington, D.C.:
Adriana Gómez

Phone:  (202) 458-5204


Rita Jupe
Phone: (202) 458-8967


Washington, D.C, September 20, 2006—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is providing a seven-year loan of $10 million equivalent in local currency to Banco Compartamos, a leading microfinance bank focused primarily on women in rural Mexico.  This is the first commitment of a $50 million financing package approved by IFC’s board to support Compartamos’s growth over the next three years.  

Compartamos’s core product is village banking, which entails lending to groups of 15 to 50 women.  About 99 percent of Compartamos’s clients are women, with loans averaging $410.

Atul Mehta, IFC’s director for Latin America and Caribbean, said, “IFC has a long-standing partnership with Compartamos, which continues to solidify through this multi-product financing.   As a niche bank, Compartamos will be able to serve the needs of its current clients better and to reach new clients not currently served by other banks.”

Compartamos, a role model for strong financial performance, has established a highly successful lending methodology in microfinance.  In May 2006, Compartamos received a license to operate as a bank, from its previous status as a SOFOL (a non–deposit-taking financial services company), and it plans to reach 1 million clients by 2008 through careful and strategic introduction of savings and new credit products.

Carlos Danel, Compartamos’s co-CEO, said, “Our transformation to a bank permits us to move closer to our client base by providing a wider range of lending and savings products.  Continued support from financial institutions such as IFC facilitates the long-term stability and growth prospects of institutions like Compartamos, and helps to deepen the financial sector and build a more inclusive financial sector in the country.”  

The partnership between IFC and Compartamos began in 2001, when IFC provided financing and equity to help it develop from a nongovernmental organization to a commercially viable entity, facilitating access to market-based funding and expanding services.  In 2004 and 2005, IFC provided a 34 percent partial credit guarantee to the two tranches of a local currency five-year bond (rated locally as AA by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch), the first ever for a microfinance institution in Mexico.  

As the largest international provider of funding for microfinance, IFC is deeply committed to helping successful companies like Compartamos achieve their growth plans.  

Jyrki Koskelo, IFC’s director for Global Financial Markets, noted, “We are committed to supporting the growth of microfinance institutions, which foster a strong developmental impact in its markets.  We continue to develop innovative structures to better meet their financing needs in local currency.”

IFC in Mexico

Since 1956, IFC has invested $5.6 billion in Mexico, including $2.2 billion in syndications, in sectors ranging from infrastructure and manufacturing to agribusiness and the financial sector, making that country the third-largest recipient of IFC financing, in dollar value, after Brazil and Argentina. IFC committed $279.8 million in FY05 as new financing in Mexico, and it held a total portfolio of $1.6 billion, including syndications, as of May 2006.

IFC’s strategy for Mexico focuses on strengthening the international competitiveness of the country’s private sector, especially by further deepening the financial sector, promoting investments where the private sector can play a larger role, and supporting sustainable social and environmental development and good corporate governance.

About IFC
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit

About Comparatmos
Banco Compartamos is a leading microfinance institution in Mexico. It has a growing network of 145 branches in the country’s 31 states and more than 450,000 borrowers, primarily in rural communities. At March 31, 2006, Compartamos’s loan portfolio reached $186 million with reported arrears over 30 days of 0.97 percent. Income generated during 1Q06 was $11.64 million equivalent resulting in a ROAE of 58.6 percent and ROAA of 21.3 percent.