Tegucigalpa, Honduras, July 6, 2010—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement with Banco Atlantida
to implement an advisory services project to support the bank with the
development and implementation of its strategy for small and medium enterprises.
Honduras suffers from soaring unemployment
and a large inequality gap, with half of its population living in poverty.
Small and medium enterprises represent an important vehicle for growth
of the country’s troubled economy, and ensuring that such enterprises
have access to financial services is critical to their survival.
Advisory services are being provided
to Banco Atlantida under IFC’s Latin America and the Caribbean Micro,
Small, and Medium Enterprise Finance Program. The program aims to augment
the level of credit being made available to SMEs and micro entrepreneurs
across the region by providing participating financial institutions with
a package of investment and targeted technical assistance aimed at increasing
each institution’s ability to serve lower- and middle- income borrowers.
The program is made possible in part by the generous contribution of the
Netherlands-IFC Partnership Program.
Guillermo Bueso Anduray, Banco Atlántida's
CEO, said, "With the advisory assistance from IFC, Banco Atlantida
will be able to implement a sound, yet aggressive expansion strategy in
the small and medium enterprises segment, leveraging the largest network
of branches and service points in Honduras, and incorporating world
class practices to better serve these customers."
Greta Bull, IFC Advisory Services Program
Manager in Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “The advisory services
that we are providing to Banco Atlantida will assist it in providing more
of the much needed financial services to an important engine of growth
in Honduras: small businesses. The support of the Netherlands in this project
is instrumental to its success.”
IFC’s strategy in Honduras involves
helping to improve access to SME and housing finance by providing adequate
funding and proper technical assistance to local financial institutions.
IFC will continue supporting financial institutions like Banco Atlantida
with programs that help them to continue to build sound portfolios in these
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 capital for private enterprise,
and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments.
Our new investments totaled $14.5 billion in fiscal year 2009, helping
channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Banco Atlántida
Banco Atlántida is the leading company
of the largest independent financial group in Honduras, serving individual
consumers as well as small and large enterprises with a full range of banking
and financial services. With the use of innovative technology and world-class
standards, the bank provides over 400,000 customers with industry-leading
products and services, and offers unparalleled convenience in Honduras,
through the largest network of branches in the country. For more information,