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IFC Helps Banks Increase Small Business Access to Finance in East Asia, Pacific

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, September 13, 2010— IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping bankers develop their operations and provide financial services to improve access to finance for small and medium enterprises in East Asia and the Pacific.  
IFC, in collaboration with the governments of Japan and the Netherlands, is training bankers on building sustainable small and medium banking operations in Ho Chi Minh City from September 13 to September 16.  The training program covers strategy and market segmentation, product design, credit risk management, and information management systems.  It also includes a training-of-trainers component that will ensure sustainability of the training offering in local markets beyond IFC’s workshop.
More than 35 bankers and trainers from 15 institutions in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are participating in the event, which is part of a training program developed by IFC’s Global SME Banking Program to help banks in emerging markets assess the potential benefits of targeting the small-business sector and to build or expand this line of business.  
Small and medium enterprises are a major driver of economic growth and job creation, yet in the Mekong region, smaller enterprises struggle to finance the growth of their businesses.
“Financial institutions often reject SMEs as too risky, usually because they try to serve them using corporate or consumer banking models. Those that rise to the challenge, developing new approaches that fit this market, find that SMEs can become one of their most profitable business lines. That is why training and capacity building in SME banking is so important,” said Matthew Gamser, Principal, Advisory Services of IFC in East Asia and the Pacific.
Huong Nguyen, Head of SME department, Vietinbank, said, “The SME banking training is quite comprehensive and of practical significance to banks in Vietnam as it covers all areas of SME banking. It also is an opportunity to exchange experiences with other SME banking practitioners.”
IFC also has conducted similar trainings in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and the Caribbean.
To learn more about IFC’s Global SME Banking Program, visit www.ifc.org/SMEBanking .
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. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit www.ifc.org .