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.
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.