Press Releases

IFC Provides $6 Million for Banco Delta S.A to Expand Access to Finance for Panama’s Micro and Small Business Entrepreneurs

In Washington, D.C.:
Vanessa Bauza, IFC
Phone: (202) 458-1603

In Panama City:
Marina Clare Nash, Banco Delta
Phone: (507) 340-0033

Panama City, Panama, September 25, 2013 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide a five-year US$6 million loan to Banco Delta S.A. (BMF), Panama’s largest microfinance institution, to support micro and small business entrepreneurs who have little or no access to formal financial services. It is IFC’s first investment in the microfinance sector in Panama, which is one of the most underdeveloped in Central America.

“Banco Delta is pleased  to partner with IFC to increase and diversify its lending to entrepreneurs of micro and small businesses, many of whom are accessing the formal financial sector for the first time,” said Banco Delta’s President, Arturo Muller. “These entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy. Microfinance can be a powerful catalyst, empowering them to grow and thrive.”

Over the past decade, Panama’s economic growth has been one of the fastest in Latin America. The country has leveraged its unique geographical position to turn itself into a global center for trade and logistics, and become the most competitive Central American economy. However, lack of access to finance continues to limit micro and small enterprises, which are an engine of job creation. Banco Delta currently lends to approximately 17,000 owners of micro and small businesses and expects to triple that number in the next five years.

“IFC supports more than 100 microfinance institutions in over 60 countries to help provide financial services such as savings, loans, and money transfers that enable poor families to invest in enterprises, better living conditions, and the health and education of their children,” said Angela Maria Fonseca, IFC Country Head for Panama. “Our investment in Banco Delta provides a unique opportunity to partner with a market leader as it embarks upon an expansion that will broaden access to finance for smaller businesses.”

Since the early 1990s, IFC has led innovation in the microfinance sector, using developments in technology, financial products, and policy to help financial institutions reach a greater number of people in a more cost-effective way. Rapid growth of the industry over the past 15 years has helped lenders reach approximately 130 million clients.

IFC’s committed portfolio in Panama amounts to $571 million. In Panama, IFC is supporting financial intermediaries, infrastructure and education. We are increasing access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises, improving cellular networks, and supporting the expansion of the Panama Canal. IFC is also engaged in fostering renewable energy, with hydro, geothermal and wind-based energy projects to help transition Central American countries to a cleaner and more efficient energy matrix.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

About Banco Delta S.A
Banco Delta is the leading microfinance institution in Panama, with over 24 thousand clients, a credit portfolio of $125 million and deposits of $121 million. It has nine branches and agencies distributed across the country and over 400 access points for receiving payments and savings via the most important payment networks in the country, as are E-Pago, Multipago, Western Union and Banco Nacional.  For more information visit

Stay Connected