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IFC, Banco Atlantida Help Small and Medium Enterprises Access Financial Services


In Lima:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC
Phone: +511 611 2501
E-mail: cugarteperrin@ifc.org

In Honduras:
Ildoira Bonilla, Banco Atlantida
Vice President, International Business
Phone:  504 232 2854
E-mail:
ibonilla@bancatlan.hn

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 sub-sectors.

About IFC
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, visit www.bancatlan.hn.