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IFC, Atlantic Bank Strengthen Access to Financial Services for Entrepreneurs in Belize


In Lima, Peru:
Clara Ugarte Perrin, IFC
Phone: +511 611 2501
E-mail: cugarteperrin@ifc.org


Belize City, Belize, January 31, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Atlantic Bank provide financial services to Belize’s small and medium enterprises, an important engine of growth in a country heavily dependent on businesses in the tourism, agriculture, and retail sectors. This project is being supported by the Canadian International Development Agency.

IFC’s work will strengthen Atlantic Bank’s competitive line of products and services, which are expected to result in over $15 million in funding to SMEs, a 40 percent increase in Atlantic Bank’s SME portfolio over five years. With this support, Atlantic Bank will be better positioned to help entrepreneurs in Belize develop sustainable businesses.

“We welcome IFC as a partner in our effort to create a sustainable and prosperous business environment for our SMEs, and look forward to helping the country diversify and increase economic activity where it is most needed,” said Sandra Bedran, General Manager, Atlantic Bank.

“Expanding access to finance for small enterprises is a key goal for IFC,” said Dan Shepherd, IFC’s acting Access to Finance Program Manager. “This project is expected to contribute to that goal, while helping Atlantic Bank diversify its portfolio and expand its reach into new segments.”

IFC’s Advisory Services Program currently supports financial institutions across the region in countries such as Guyana, Haiti, and Jamaica, helping them diversify product portfolios, improve efficiency, reduce costs, and strengthen risk management and corporate governance practices.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. IFC creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and through the delivery of advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, IFC’s new investments climbed to a record $19 billion in fiscal 2011. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.

About Atlantic Bank
Atlantic Bank Ltd, established over 40 years ago, is a 55 percent owned subsidiary of Sociedad Nacional de Inversiones, S.A., a Honduran company. It is Belize’s third largest bank in terms of assets and loans disbursed. Atlantic Bank has 15 locations across the country and works with individuals, small businesses, and corporations, offering a wide range of banking products and services including credit cards, online banking, savings and deposits, payroll services, and merchant services. For more information, visit www.atlabank.com

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