Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, May 12,
2014 - IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will help Banco BHD develop
new products to improve access to banking services for Dominican microentrepreneurs,
who are crucial to the Dominican Republic’s economy but lack the financial
services needed to increase productivity and grow their businesses.
MSMEs in the Dominican Republic have limited
access to credit. Domestic credit to the private sector is only 24 percent
of GDP, compared to 45 percent in Latin America. Only 17 percent of the
country’s workforce, including the informal sector, has access to banking
IFC will help Banco BHD develop a market
study to identify key gaps in the market and target clients who can benefit
from financial services. The project will design a series of products
based on this study to expand its reach to the unbanked population.
“In the context of this partnership with
IFC, Banco BHD work to design new products and services for micro and small
enterprises,” said Steven Puig, Executive Vice President and General Manager
of Banco BHD. “We hope to provide these clients with the tools and products
necessary to overcome the barriers of financial exclusion and to support
them in growing their business ventures and improve their families’ quality
Since its first investment with Banco BHD
in 2003, IFC has provided financing of over US$60 million. In 2008, IFC
became an equity shareholder in the bank’s parent company Centro Financiero
BHD. IFC has also provided advisory services to support BHD’s sustainable
energy financing and housing finance.
“Financial inclusion plays a vital role
in economic development. IFC has made it a priority as part of its commitment
to reducing poverty and improving peoples’ lives,” said Ary Naim, IFC
Country Head for the Dominican Republic. “Through this project with our
partner BHD, IFC will continue fostering competition and innovation in
the financial sector in the Dominican Republic.”
Since the Dominican Republic became a member
of IFC in 1961, IFC has invested $971.5 million in the country’s
private sector, including $293 million in mobilization. IFC also implements
advisory programs to improve the business climate, build skills of local
entrepreneurs, and promote access to finance and markets for small businesses.
IFC’s accesses to finance programs in the Dominican Republic have been
valued at $1 million over the last four years.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private
sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, we
use our capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty
and promote shared prosperity. In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time
high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org
About Banco BHD
Banco BHD is the second largest private bank
in the Dominican Republic with total assets of US$3.1 billion, as of September
2013, a market share of 16 percent. Banco BHD was established in 1972 and
currently has 88 branches across the country. Its microfinance unit, Credito
Amigo, seeks to roll out its mobile financial services strategy to penetrate
the base of the pyramid. Credito Amigo has a client base of 7,100 and an
outstanding portfolio of US$7.84 million, as of September 2013.