Servicios Microfinancieros founded to facilitate economic and social development of low-income earners in Chile

  • Servicios Microfinancieros S.A. is the result of co-operation between BBVA Microfinance Foundation and the Credicoop co-operative.
  • The new institution seeks to consolidate its leading position in services for the least favoured segments of the population, with specialist microfinance products and services to enable them to undertake productive activities.
  • The institution is starting out with 15,000 customers and 24 branch offices in 6 regions.
  • More than 60% of Chile’s micro-entrepreneurs and freelancers currently have no access to financial services.
  • BBVA Microfinance Foundation has also registered to operate in Argentina and will shortly be presenting its first actions there.

BBVA Microfinance Foundation (FMBBVA) and the Credicoop co-operative this morning announced the formation of a new institution under the name Servicios Microfinancieros S.A, to facilitate access to credit and microfinance services for low income-earners in Chile, so as to promote economic and entrepreneurial activities and raise their standards of living.

Servicios Microfinancieros has an initial customer base of 15,000 low-income entrepreneurs (46% of them women), capital of $16m, a credit portfolio of $9m and a network of 24 branch offices in 6 regions.

“The new institution has set out to become the country’s leading micro-finance service provider, with a clear ethos of extending banking services to new social groups and rural areas. This makes BBVA Microfinance Foundation the ideal partner, because it not only has the capital and resources to guarantee sustainable growth but can also provide innovative, efficient operational platforms to allow growth and expansion and cater for more people”, stated Diego Vidal, Chairman of the Board of Credicoop.

In the words of Manuel Méndez del Río, Chairman of FMBBVA and of the new institution, “our objective in setting up this new institution in Chile is to help people who currently have no access to the financial system to undertake productive activities and thus sustainably raise their own living standards and those of their families, generating wealth and promoting economic and social welfare throughout the country”.

The stock of the new institution is owned 51% by BBVA Microfinance Foundation and 49% by Credicoop, with a design based on sufficiency and sustainability. Profits will be reinvested in improving and developing the institution’s activities and strengthening its assets.

Registration of the Foundation in Argentina

BBVA Microfinance Foundation has registered to commence operations in the field of microfinance in Argentina and expects shortly to present its first investment there.

Since its founding in 2007 the Foundation has developed and extended its microfinancing network with the incorporation and establishment of new institutions to reach as many people as possible. It set up the Bancamía microfinance bank in Colombia, the first bank there dedicated to offering services to low-income entrepreneurs. In Peru it set up the Caja de Ahorro y Crédito Nuestra Gente savings bank, clearly oriented towards extending banking to new sectors of society and rural areas; and in Puerto Rico it founded Corporación para las Microfinanzas, the first organisation there set up to work exclusively in  microfinance.

The Foundation is currently also working to create and develop microfinance institutions elsewhere, mainly in Central America, Brazil and Mexico.