Press Releases

IFC Provides $20 Million to Banco General Costa Rica to Increase Lending to SMEs, Agribusiness

In Washington, D.C.:
John McNally, IFC

Phone : 202-458-0723                        


In Washington, DC

Vanessa Bauza, IFC

Phone: 202-458-1603


Washington DC, February 14, 2013 — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a five year $20 million loan to Banco General (Costa Rica) S.A. to support the growth of small and medium enterprises and agribusiness firms by providing much needed access to finance.

Approximately 40 percent of Costa Rica’s estimated 300,000, micro, small and medium enterprises cite access to credit as a major constraint to growth. IFC’s partnership will help Banco General increase its lending to small and medium enterprises, as well as boost the agribusiness sector.

“IFC’s strategy in Central America is to be a long-term partner to local banks to contribute to a more efficient consolidation and regionalization of the financial sector,” said Paolo Martelli, Director Financial Markets, Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. “IFC’s support will help Banco General (Costa Rica) expand financing for small and medium enterprises and agribusiness, which have an important role in the economy.”

“We are pleased with IFC’s support to Banco General Costa Rica S.A.'s SME and agribusiness portfolio,” said Alberto Sauter, Banco General (Costa Rica’s) CEO. “This agreement demonstrates the commitment of both institutions to promote the growth of markets that are critical for Costa Rica's sustainable development.”

Banco General (Costa Rica) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco General Panama. This investment supports IFC's goal of establishing relationships with Central America’s strategic regional financial institutions to increase access to financial services in typically under-served priority sectors and promote intraregional growth.  

As of December 2012, IFC had committed $80 million in financing in Costa Rica. IFC's strategy in Costa Rica is to focus on sectors where it has a strong role and additionality, such as with small and medium enterprises and agribusiness which have limited access to finance.

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 Banco General Costa Rica

Banco General (Costa Rica) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco General Panama, established in 2007 to serve consumers and corporate customers directly in Costa Rica. The bank has a rapidly growing network in Costa Rica, with seven branches to be opened by the end of 2013. Over the past two years since 2010, the bank has more than doubled its loan portfolio from $106 million to $256 million. For more information, please visit