Press Releases

IFC Helps GBTI Improve Risk Management, Increase Access to Finance for SMEs in Guyana

In Washington, DC:
Vanessa Bauza
Phone: +1 202 458 1603

Georgetown, Guyana, July 3, 2013 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI), the country’s second largest bank, establish solid risk management practices to support its long-term sustainability and build a strong foundation for its small and medium enterprise (SME) lending. Currently, an estimated 65 percent of Guyana’s SMEs are un-served or under-served by the country’s financial system, which limits their ability to grow and create jobs.

With support of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), IFC will implement a two-year project with GBTI. IFC signed a cooperation agreement with GBTI, which was announced today, to provide advisory services to build robust risk management within the institution.

“Our collaboration with IFC will help support GBTI’s future expansion and financial sustainability by harmonizing our risk management policies to increase efficiency and take advantage of new market opportunities,” said John Tracey, CEO of GBTI. “GBTI will work with IFC to develop a more client-focused, performance-guided approach that better serves the needs of our population.”

In Guyana, risk management practices need to be strengthened to ensure the long-term growth of financial institutions and improve the country's credit penetration rate, which is currently only 30 percent of GDP. Many financial institutions are reluctant to enter into and/or expand SME lending because of the need to first implement the internal structures and procedures to identify and manage risks related to these transactions.

“IFC is committed to helping Guyana support a more inclusive financial marketplace,” said Ghada Teima, IFC Access to Finance Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean. “We engage with financial institutions, like GBTI, to develop strong risk management practices that help promote financial stability and increase access to finance for SMEs.”

Since Guyana became a member of IFC in 1967, IFC has invested $31.4 million in the country’s private sector. IFC also implements advisory programs to improve the business climate, build the skills of local entrepreneurs, and promote access to finance and markets for small businesses.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit

About Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry
Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Limited has a rich and successful history of over 170 years that began with the establishment of the first commercial bank in British Guiana, the Colonial Bank.

Today, GBTI is a majority Guyanese owned institution and provides an extensive range of services to its corporate and individual clients through its 11 countrywide branches – personal savings, business and investments accounts; personal, housing and business financing; GBTI Local Dollar Credit Card and VISA International Credit Cards. The Bank also provides other services such as Online Banking and Debit and Prepaid Cards; a countrywide network of ATMs and Point of Sale Terminals; money transfer, letters of credit, bills collection and discounting, pre-export trade financing. For more information, visit