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IFC Helps DRC’s Rawbank Extend Financial Services to Smaller Businesses, Women

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, April 16, 2009— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced it will invest in and provide advisory services to Rawbank to strengthen the Democratic Republic of Congo’s financial sector and help extend credit to smaller businesses and women who currently have limited access to financial services.
IFC will extend a $7 million loan to Rawbank under a program designed to boost lending to micro, small, and medium enterprises across Sub-Saharan Africa through local banks. IFC will also advise the bank on how to better develop and market products for smaller businesses and women, and work with women entrepreneurs to improve their financial management skills and increase their capacity to apply for bank loans.
“Working with IFC will increase Rawbank’s capacity to make long-term loans to smaller businesses and women, an important part of the Congolese economy,” said Michel Notebaert, Vice President, Executive Committee of Rawbank.Rawbank. “Reaching underserved segments of the financial market will enable Rawbank to help create employment and reduce poverty in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”
IFC is doing more across East and Central Africa as it expands activities in the world’s poorest countries and those at the frontier of private sector development. Although DRC’s private sector is growing steadily, it remains one of the world’s poorest countries with GDP per capita (nominal) of about $200 in 2008, according to International Monetary Fund estimates.
“IFC is working to expand financial services where they are needed most, particularly in Africa’s poorest countries and those emerging from conflict,” said Thierry Tanoh, IFC Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa. “Increasing access to finance for smaller businesses and women is critical tool in the fight against poverty and a central part of IFC’s strategy to support the development of a vibrant private sector in the region.”
Tanoh was in DRC in on a five-day visit to highlight IFC’s commitment to and partnership with the country. Tanoh’s agenda included meetings with private sector clients, development partners, and government officials, including President Joseph Kabila and Finance Minister Athanase Matenda Kyelu.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal year 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit .
About Rawbank
Rawbank started operations in 2002 and is a prominent Banking institution in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Bank holds a universal banking license and provides an array of financial solutions to the Consumer, Corporate, and Small and Medium enterprise sectors.
The Bank has been ranked as Top 19 th Bank (source: Jeune Afrique s.n – 16), in terms of balance sheet size, in Central Africa. The Bank is well positioned in the corporate market, with a client base including some of the largest domestic and foreign companies operating in the DRC. The Bank has one of the best Correspondent Bank networks to facilitate Trade Finance services to its clients.
Rawbank’s total capital,  assets,  deposits and advances as per the Audited Financial Statements as of 31-12-2008 amount to USD 26 million, USD 226 million, USD 163 million and USD 80 million  respectively. Rawbank has presently 10 branches in DRC. The Bank has plans to open another 10 branches in the next two years which will enable it cover every important business locations of the country.
Rawbank is the first bank to launch MasterCard Products in Democratic Republic of Congo. The Bank holds a Principal Membership Licence of Visa International. The Bank has a secured IT & Swift Network and is one of the few local banks offering an electronic payment platform to its clients through its strong network of ATMs and POS terminals. The Bank is also one of the Franchisees of MoneyGram International. Rawbank strictly complies with all prudent banking norms & regulations of the central bank of DRC. It also follows the international anti money laundering banking practices.