FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd launched

KARACHI: FINCA, a global microfinance organization with operations in 22 countries on five continents, has announced the launch of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd Founded almost 30 years ago, FINCA is a pioneer of the modern microfinance industry and has been recognized throughout its history for innovation, efficiency, ethical practices, and an uncompromising focus on social performance.

According to a release issued from Lahore, FINCA Microfinance Cooperatif, the Netherlands-based investment arm of FINCA, acquired in May 2013 a majority holding in the Pakistani bank formerly known as Kashf Microfinance Bank Limited. Following completion of all regulatory requirements, the Bank has now been relaunched as FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd and has already begun a process of expansion within the country. Currently operating in 51 locations across Pakistan, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd plans to have branches and sales centres in 65 locations by the end of the year. The Bank will continue to operate under the regulation of the State Bank of Pakistan.

“It is a pleasure to welcome FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. to Pakistan,” said Mr. Yaseen Anwar, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan in his message. “The State Bank is committed to ensuring access to quality financial services for all the citizens of Pakistan. Microfinance is one important strategy towards that goal, and FINCA is one of the largest microfinance operators globally. We wish FINCA every success, and look forward to their contributions to Pakistan’s microfinance sector.”

Speaking at the launch press conference, FINCA global President and CEO Rupert Scofield said, “FINCA saw Pakistan’s large population of hardworking entrepreneurial people as individuals and families who could prosper from our services. We are honoured to introduce our global brand into a new market as welcoming and embracing of FINCA as Pakistan. We look forward to working with the local team to build a thriving, poverty-free Pakistan that will lead to improved quality of life for many hundreds of thousands people in the country.”

M. Mudassar Aqil, chief executive officer of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd., stated, ”Our team feels a great sense of urgency to scale up outreach to many more of the over 80 percent of Pakistanis who currently lack access to effective financial services. Now as part of the FINCA global family of companies, our Bank combines our all-Pakistani team’s deep local expertise with FINCA’s global best practices and other resources. The transition to the FINCA brand name and visual identity will strengthen that powerful combination even further.”

FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd will build on the legacy of successes achieved under its previous name of Kashf Microfinance Bank Ltd., combined with the vast international experience and matchless expertise that its new majority shareholder FINCA has been building in markets all over the world since 1985. From its newly strengthened position, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd.

has the potential to become a major financial presence in Pakistan and lead the microfinance sector in innovation, developing a range of new products and services tailored to customers’ needs, particularly those of entrepreneurs, farmers, and savers.

All locations of the institution now known as FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. will carry the Bank’s new logo with the distinctive FINCA tree, fondly known to its clients as “the tree of abundance” and a global symbol of growth, strength, and security.

FINCA is a leading international microfinance organization that provides financial services to the world’s lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets and improve their standard of living. For nearly three decades, FINCA has been committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by providing community-based credit and savings opportunities.

FINCA currently reaches more than one million clients through its worldwide network of 22 subsidiaries in Africa, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East and South Asia. FINCA’s outreach is among the broadest and most comprehensive of today’s microfinance networks. FINCA manages its subsidiaries through FINCA Microfinance Holding Company, LLC which is supported with socially responsible investor partners.

FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd is the newest Subsidiary in the FINCA global family of companies. The Bank was launched in 2008 under its previous name, Kashf Microfinance Bank Ltd., with a mission to alleviate poverty among the people of Pakistan by helping low-income entrepreneurs with enterprise loans and other financial services. Since then, the Bank has disbursed more than PKR 6.5 billion to more than 100,000 customers who have expanded small businesses and created jobs in their communities. FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. is a fully licensed deposit-taking microfinance bank regulated by the State Bank of Pakistan. The Bank’s loan portfolio is entirely funded by the savings of the more than 200,000 people who collectively have over PKR 2.4 billion in deposits.

Like FINCA, the bank now known as FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd was launched with an explicit mission of poverty alleviation. The State Bank of Pakistan approved the transaction on April 19 and May 7, 2013, the transaction closed, with FINCA injecting additional funds into the Pakistani bank to strengthen its capital base as well as to acquire 82.7 percent of its shares. November 25 marks the official launch of the Bank under its new name of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. State Bank of Pakistan has approved the name change.