Gonzalo Gil, Nancy Barry and Claudio González Vega join the BBVA Microfinance Foundation Board of Trustees

15 December 2008

Gonzalo Gil, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Spain and expert in regulation and supervision; Nancy Barry, former Chairperson of Woman’s World Banking and considered by Forbes magazine as one of the twenty most influential women in the United States, and Claudio GonzálezVega, Professor at Ohio State University and known as “the father of microfinance”, joined the BBVA Microfinance Foundation Board of Trustees in the meeting held today to formalise their appointment.

Manuel Méndez del Río, Chairman of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation highlighted the appointment of these three outstanding personalities to the Board of Trustees, indicating that, “it underlines the Foundation’s commitment to incorporating members of acknowledged prestige and extensive professional experience in the spheres of economy, finance and social development. Their knowledge of the financial system combined with their social vision of the economy will be of great value in our aim to advance in promoting and developing microfinance.”

Fotografía de los miembros del patronato FMBBVA

In addition to the Foundation Chairman, Manuel Méndez del Río, the Board of Trustees (the Foundation’s highest body of governance) also includes Tomás Alfaro, Head of Business Administration and Management at the Francisco de Vitoria University; and María Begoña Susana Rodríguez Vidarte, Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences (otherwise known as La Comercial), at the University of Deusto.

The BBVA Microfinance Foundation is a not-for-profit entity created by the BBVA Group in May 2007 within the framework of its Corporate Responsibility policy. Its aim is to use microfinance to foster economic and social development in regions in the world most in need of development.

The Foundation is consolidating a large microfinance network in Latin America and has already set up institutions in Colombia (Banco de las Microfinanzas- Bancamía), Peru (Caja Nuestra Gente), and Puerto Rico (Corporación para las Microfinanzas-Puerto Rico). Moreover, it is present in Costa Rica, where it has signed a collaboration agreement with the state Bank, Bancrédito, to jointly foster microfinance development in this country and all over Central America.

Through the institutions at present comprising the microfinance network, the Foundation currently attends 325,000 low-income customers with no or little access to the conventional financial system in the region; it has 1,700 employees, a network of 140 branches and it has granted productive loans totalling around $300 million to small entrepreneurs.

In the short-term the BBVA Microfinance Foundation expects to undertake projects in Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico and to significantly raise the social impact of microfinance in Latin America.