On July 9, 2012 ? In Finance


Citi Group has been awarded the Business in the Community (BITC) ?International award? for scaling microfinance to achieve financial inclusion.

Meanwhile, it has promised access to financial services to more than 2.5 billion people in the world,  who presently do  not enjoy   financial services, which  in the developed world is considered  essential to daily life.

The International Award supported by the international leadership team recognizes company programmes that can demonstrate positive impact on those in greatest need globally through one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Chief Executive Officer, Citi, Mr. Vikram Pandit, in a statement issued by the bank said, ?As we commemorate Citi?s 200th anniversary this year, we continue to champion the core principles that have guided our institution over the last two centuries. By seeking Financial Inclusion, not only through our foundation but also through core businesses and with partners such as OPIC, we reinforce our commitment to responsible Finance and enable microfinance institutions to reach the underserved in communities around the world.?

?While the partnership between Citi and OPIC makes business sense for the bank, it also advances Citi?s position in microfinance, expands access to capital at the base of the pyramid, and fosters the economic and social empowerment of women,? Pandit stated.

He noted that Citi has a long-standing commitment to expand financial inclusion, also that it has formed a successful partnership with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

?Under this partnership launched in 2006, Citi and OPIC have funded 29 microfinance institutions in 16 countries, directly reaching more than 330,000 local micro-entrepreneurs through small loans, approximately 84 per cent of whom are women,? he said.

However, Citi integrates core businesses, a global perspective and local presence to expand financial inclusion and contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Citi has a $350 million partnership with OPIC, the U.S. government?s foreign development agency. It provides service to the micro-entrepreneurs by directly funding microfinance institutions in local currency, in local language, and under local law. This partnership has a wide impact.

Micro-entrepreneurs in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America have availed loans from Citi. This successful partnership has funded 29 microfinance institutions in 16 countries, having a direct outreach of more than 330,000 loans to micro-entrepreneurs, approximately 84 per cent of whom are women, with average loan size of $414.

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