IFC and Microfinance
Microfinance constitutes one of the most important tools IFC possesses to achieve its ambitious targets over the coming years. IFC is the World Bank Group's lead investor in microfinance and works with more than 100 institutions in over 60 countries, effectively providing a combination of investment and advisory services to a range of financial intermediaries. In fiscal 2013, IFC committed $402 million in 51 projects with microfinance institutions. IFC's cumulative investment portfolio in microfinance exceeds $3 billion, with outstanding commitments of $1.45 billion. In fiscal 2013, IFC's advisory services in microfinance came to $66.2 million, representing advisory assistance for 73 projects.
IFC also helps improve financial inclusion by improving financial infrastructure. It takes an active role in advising microfinance institutions and building or strengthening comprehensive and robust credit reporting systems such as credit bureaus, which are critical to avoiding over indebtedness and supporting responsible lending practices. Through its Global Credit Reporting Program, IFC has created or significantly improved credit reporting systems in more than 30 countries and advocated for relevant laws in 33 countries.
IFC's focus is on creating and supporting commercially viable microfinance institutions that can attract the private capital needed to scale up and respond to unmet demand. IFC is playing an important role by demonstrating the business case for commercial microfinance and promoting it as an asset class to private institutional investors. Since pioneering commercial microfinance in the early 1990s, IFC has continued to lead innovation in microfinance, using developments in technology, financial products, and policy to help financial institutions reach a greater number of people in a more cost-effective way.
MIGA and Microfinance
MIGAs support for microfinance projects is aligned with the World Bank Group's microfinance strategy, which includes improving the supply of microfinance in large but underserved markets, enhancing deposit capacity by assisting microfinance institutions in savings mobilization, building capacity, creating and shaping markets, and fostering innovation. The agency has supported a number of microfinance projects in various countries, including Afghanistan, Bolivia, Georgia, and Pakistan.
IFC and Microfinance
The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor
The Global Financial Inclusion (Global Findex) Database
The New Microfinance Handbook: A Financial Market System Perspective
World Bank and Microfinance