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IFC to Help Banco BHD Develop Innovative Products to Increase Access to Banking for Microentrepreneurs


In Washington, D.C.:
Vanessa Bauza
Phone: (202) 458-1603
E-mail: vbauza@ifc.org


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 services.

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 of life.”

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.

About IFC
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.

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