Financial Institutions  Priorities

IFC's Priorities in Financial Institutions

WORKING WITH LOCAL FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES ALLOWS IFC TO SUPPORT FAR MORE MICRO, SMALL, AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES THAN WE WOULD ON OUR OWN.

IFC is committed to the World Bank Group goal of achieving universal access to finance by 2020.

In order to do this, IFC works with about 800 financial institutions with products including investment and advisory support for microfinance, insurance, loans to small and medium enterprises and women-owned businesses, and low- and medium-income mortgages.

Our work in more than 100 countries has helped strengthen financial institutions and systems, reinforcing responsible finance, enabling them to play a constructive role in economic growth, and introducing environmental and social standards in many clients for the first time.

IFC clients, directly or indirectly, were able to provide 7.6 million loans to small businesses worth a total of $243 billion, and 51 million microloans to individuals, worth $59 billion in 2015.

Our expertise and advice help our clients address systemic issues such as risk management, corporate governance, and the introduction of environmental and social standards. We also encourage financial institutions to become more involved in strategic sectors that are important to the development agenda, including women-owned businesses, trade finance, climate change, and agri-finance, and underserved regions such as fragile and conflict-affected states.

 

Definition of Targeted Sectors

Use of proceeds of IFC’s targeted FI investments are primarily directed to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), women-owned businesses, climate-related projects and housing finance. To learn more about how these sectors are defined for the purpose of IFC’s investments click here.

IFC WORKS WITH FINANCIAL INTERMEDIARIES TO SUPPORT:

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Microfinance

Micro, small, and medium enterprises play a major role in creating jobs and boosting prosperity for low income people—fostering economic growth, social stability, and the development of a dynamic private sector. Having adequate access to finance is fundamental for these companies to flourish.


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SME Finance

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) promote the economic and social development of emerging markets by generating income and jobs. SMEs create between 70 and 95 percent of new employment opportunities in emerging economies. These firms are more likely to generate jobs, and at a faster pace, when they have access to finance. IFC helps expand access to finance while also using advisory services to increase financial intermediaries' positive impact on the SME sector.


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Digital Finance

Digital finance is bringing down costs and creating new opportunities for people to access financial services, with mobile phones replacing physical bank branches and technology changing the way financial products are delivered.


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Global Trade

Trade is the lifeblood of the world economy, and IFC works to ensure that businesses in emerging markets can be included in the global economy, bringing in essential imports and exporting to boost economic growth.


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Access to Essential Financial Services

Products such as microinsurance, agricultural insurance, and housing loans are essential to help prevent people slipping back into poverty and to improve overall quality of life. Developing local capital markets also helps provide funding to local businesses.


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