Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, July 12, 2012
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing a 120 million Russian ruble ($3.6 million) loan to Forus Bank, the only domestic bank specializing in microfinance, to increase access to financial services for people and small businesses in central Russia.
The loan will support Forus Bank as it expands lending in rural areas, helping create jobs and diversifying regional economies. Active in 26 regions of central Russia, the bank is a role model in responsible lending among microfinance institutions. IFC’s ruble financing will mitigate the bank’s currency exchange risks.
“Our deep understanding of small business and their financial service needs, such as speed and simplicity, complemented by the long-term finance provided by IFC, will help us continue expanding operations,” said Stacie Schrader, chairman of the management board of Forus Bank.
Tomasz Telma, IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia, said, “We are committed to long-term relationships with local microfinance institutions and focused on helping them expand into less developed regions of Russia. That growth helps generate much-needed job opportunities and contributes to economic development.”
This is IFC’s second loan to Forus; the first came in 2006 and was valued at $5 million. The initiative is part of IFC’s strategy in Russia to support private sector development and encourage economic growth. The country became a member and shareholder of IFC in 1993. Since then, IFC has invested nearly $6 billion in Russia, including $1.5 billion in syndicated loans, and is involved in 250 projects across a variety of sectors. IFC’s investment portfolio in Russia stands at $2.54 billion, the third-largest country exposure for IFC globally.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit
About Forus Bank
Since 2006, Forus Bank has been serving individuals, entrepreneurs and small businesses with financial services. Covering 26 regions in the Russian Federation, it has disbursed more than 100,000 loans supporting the development of small businesses in Russia.
To learn more, visit