COLOMBIA – The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has granted US$ 25 million loan to one of Colombia’s leading banks Banco Finandina.

The loan will enable the bank to strengthen its digital platforms and offer greater coverage to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and individuals with reduced access to financing in Colombia.

The loan according to the IFC, is part of a US $ 50 million approved loan that will allow Banco Finandina to consolidate a digital and innovative strategy aimed at increasing deposit products.

The loan which is the third IFC transaction with Banco Finandina will also help the bank offering loans to people and businesses that are not served by traditional banks.

Elizabeth Martínez de Marcano, manager for the Andean Region of IFC, said: “Very few banks and financial institutions have the technical capacity to subscribe loans to MSMEs and people in situations of vulnerability.”

The lack of access to financing, according to Ms. Martínez de Marcano “is one of the key problems facing the Colombian economy,” adding that IFC was “ excited to collaborate again with Banco Finandina in its fight to reduce the financing gap, and thus contribute to job creation and greater equity in income.”

Orlando Forero, General Manager of Banco Finandina, said: “These milestones confirm the solidity with which the bank has built and consolidated its strategy of being the home of banking.”

MSMEs are essential for the economic and social development of emerging markets. These companies generate between 70 and 95 percent of new employment opportunities in so-called developing countries.

Data from IFC however, reveals that despite this sector being important to economies in the world, the global financing gap for MSMEs is US $ 5.2 billion.

With such a limited access to financial services for MSMEs, economic growth is depressed, and this ends up increasing income inequalities among populations.

 IFC is trying to address this by working with more than 2000 companies worldwide and uses its capital, expertise and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are most needed.

In the exercise of 2019, it granted more than US $ 19,000 million in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the capacity of the private sector to help end poverty and promote shared prosperity.