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IFC Investment in Poland’s First Microfinance Bank to Develop Sector, Benefit Smaller Businesses


In Washington, D.C.:
Lotte Pang, IFC
Phone:  (202) 758 4290
E-mail: LPang@ifc.org

In Warsaw:
Izabela Mrozewska, FM Bank
Phone: 022 502 46 31; 0783 405 781
E-mail: Izabela.Mrozewska@funduszmikro.pl


Warsaw, Poland, August 5, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will invest $5 million in Poland’s first microfinance bank to support  the microfinance sector and improve access to finance for micro and small businesses.

FM Bank, which recently received a commercial banking license, will be established from the operations of Fundusz Mikro, a successful Polish microfinance institution with 40 branches across the country. As a full-fledged bank, FM Bank will be able to mobilize deposit funding, allowing it to widen the range of products offered to micro and small businesses. It also will be able to decrease its cost of funding, making microfinance loans more affordable. IFC’s investment will give it a 10 percent equity share in the bank.

“Poland has a diverse and active microenterprise sector but it is not well served by traditional banks—and FM Bank wants to change that,” said Henryk Pietraszkiewicz, Acting President of FM Bank. “Our focus will be on providing tailored service and products for micro and small entrepreneurs. We welcome IFC’s investment and strong support in this endeavor.”

André Laude, IFC Chief Investment Officer, said, “IFC is delighted to support Poland’s first microfinance bank and we welcome this significant step in the development of the country’s microfinance sector. Providing affordable credit and other financial services to small businesses will promote the development of an active private sector, generate jobs, and help reduce income disparities.”

IFC is a leading global investor in microfinance with commitments of $1.2 billion. At the end of 2008, IFC’s microfinance clients disbursed 20 million micro loans totaling $25 billion. IFC’s focus is on creating and supporting commercially viable microfinance institutions that can attract the private capital needed. IFC plays a catalytic role by demonstrating the business case for commercial microfinance, enhancing the sector with innovative financial products, and promoting it as an asset class. IFC is working to ensure that microfinance reaches the people and places where it is most needed.

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 private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping channel capital into developing countries during the financial crisis. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

For more information about IFC’s partners, please visit www.funduszmikro.pl.