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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 2, 2009
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Bank for Small Businesses
September 2, 2009 By A.R.    
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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, plans to invest $5 million in Poland's first microfinance bank to support the microfinance sector and improve access to finance for micro and small businesses. FM Bank, which recently received a commercial banking license, will be established from the operations of Fundusz Mikro, a successful Polish microfinance institution with 40 branches across the country. As a full-fledged bank, FM Bank will be able to mobilize deposit funding, allowing it to widen the range of products offered to micro and small businesses. It also will be able to decrease its cost of funding, making microfinance loans more affordable. IFC's investment will give it a 10 percent equity share in the bank.

"Our focus will be on providing tailored services and products for micro and small entrepreneurs. We welcome IFC's investment and strong support in this endeavor," said Henryk Pietraszkiewicz, acting president of FM Bank.

André Laude, IFC chief investment officer, said, "IFC is delighted to support Poland's first microfinance bank and we welcome this significant step in the development of the country's microfinance sector. Providing affordable credit and other financial services to small businesses will promote the development of an active private sector, generate jobs, and help reduce income disparities."

In its first business year, FM Bank wants to attract more than 40,000 clients. By the end of 2009, the bank plans to expand its network to 62 branches. FM Bank is shooting for a 4-percent share in its market segment. The bank's equity, including a loan from IFC, will approach zl.150 million.
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