Port Au Prince, Haiti, April 29,
2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed an agreement
with Haiti’s Sogebank S.A. to help boost financing for local micro, small,
and medium enterprises, which employ about 80 percent of local workers
and are key contributors to the economy.
IFC is providing advisory services to
strengthen the organizational structure of Sogebank’s small and medium
enterprise department. The project will enable the bank, over a five-year
period, to reach more than 2,500 active SME borrowers, eight times more
than in 2008. It will also help increase their access to sustainable financial
“IFC’s support will help us improve
our credit line approach small businesses by creating products and services
targeted to their needs” said M. Robert Moscoso, Sogebank’s Chairman
and Chief Executive Officer. He added that “Sogebank’s banking network
will use its resources to make this project a success, and expand the community’s
access to credit, while preserving the bank assets’ quality."
IFC’s advisory role focuses primarily
on credit and lending activities, but additional services for small businesses
are being considered, including deposits and transactional services.
IFC is also considering a $4million
equity investment in Sogebank. In a country were only 1 percent of the
population has access to formal credit, supporting one of the soundest
financial institutions will help improve access to finance, especially
for underserved groups like micro, small, and medium enterprises. It could
also promote greater competitiveness and efficiency in the local market.
Luke Haggarty, IFC General Manager for
Advisory Services in Latin America and the Caribbean, said: “This initiative
shows IFC’s commitment to stimulating economic growth in Haiti and enhancing
the delivery of basic financial services to underserved microentrepreneurs
and small businesses. An expansion of SME credit could increase employment
and help SMEs make a more sustainable contribution to the local economy.”
IFC works with financial institutions
in the Latin American and Caribbean region to enhance their capacity to
provide financial services to small businesses locally. IFC’s strategy
in Haiti focuses on promoting economic growth and improving access to basic
services, particularly for the most vulnerable groups. IFC has ramped up
its activities in Haiti over the past two years, and has recently placed
staff in the local office to promote rapid growth for its investment and
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 $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous
year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About Sogebank S.A.
Sogebank is the leading commercial bank
in Haiti. Its activities comprise retail and corporate banking, microfinance,
remittance distribution, and factoring, which operate as independent businesses
through subsidiaries. Sogebank has the largest branch network in the country
with 42 branches, and a solid image and reputation. For more information,