Photo: Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse – Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative

By Vicky Dodman, International Programme Manager, Business in the Community

Credit Suisse – Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative

Credit Suisse, through the Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative (MCBI), enable microfinance institutions to develop the people, products and processes which are needed to serve the financially excluded.

Social impacts

  • MCBI projects have trained over 13,000 microfinance industry staff and improved financial services for over 2.3 million individuals, resulting in improved livelihoods, access to health, nutrition and education.
  • Developed innovations in new product development for women, youth, farmers and entrepreneurs, electronic and mobile banking solutions, risk management and consumer protection practices.
  • Partnered in the development and delivery of women-focused microfinance services across Asia, Africa and Latin America, reaching + 215,000 clients.
  • Developed responsible leaders in the banking industry through unique employee expertise sharing programmes, collaborations and internal and external partnerships.

Business impacts

  • Strengthened and complemented Credit Suisse’ microfinance and impact investing business, which now has over $2.3 billion in Assets under Management, through building capacity of investees, risk management and deepening knowledge of the market.
  • Developed strong and innovative employee engagement through leadership development programmes, expertise-sharing and building, improving employee collaboration, attraction, retention and morale, and building the Credit Suisse brand.
  • Developed innovations in microfinance, new products, in-house expertise, provided first hand access to trends and opportunities, and enabled innovative new partnerships involving clients, employees and partners.

““At Credit Suisse, we are committed to providing leadership and developing innovative solutions to improve living standards and to promote financial inclusion. The Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative is core to that commitment. We work closely with our microfinance grant partners to develop the people, products and processes microfinance institutions need to reach their social and financial goals. I am proud of our employees, one of the initiative’s most valuable assets. They demonstrate our commitment and our values by sharing their financial services know-how and expertise, virtually and in the field. This translates into innovative solutions to benefit our clients, our company and the financially excluded around the world.”

– Brady Dougan,
CEO, Credit Suisse Group

The Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative (MCBI) enables microfinance institutions to develop the people, products and processes they need to meet their social and financial goals. Credit Suisse do this through grant funding and employee expertise sharing to enable the training of thousands of staff and management and by fostering research, innovation and dialogue to spread best practices in the industry.

Though microfinance and financial inclusion/access to financial services are not directly UN Millennium Development Goals, they play an important role in achieving the MDGs. Access to financial services enables the populations at the base of the economic pyramid to help themselves to meet their basic needs such as paying for education, improved nutrition and housing, health services, medication and access to sanitation, plus the ability to create and run a business and generate employment.

Women are particularly excluded from financial services, and so particularly benefit from microfinance, which serves the financially excluded. With the average percentage of female clients for an MFI at 65%, the microfinance industry has made a big impact in providing access to women. Women, in addition to being good clients, prioritise the health, well-being and education of their children and family, thus helping the advancement of the UN MDGs.

“At Credit Suisse, we are committed to providing leadership and developing innovative solutions to improve living standards and to promote financial inclusion. The Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative is core to that commitment. We work closely with our microfinance grant partners to develop the people, products and processes microfinance institutions need to reach their social and financial goals. I am proud of our employees, one of the initiative’s most valuable assets. They demonstrate our commitment and our values by sharing their financial services know-how and expertise, virtually and in the field. This translates into innovative solutions to benefit our clients, our company and the financially excluded around the world.”

Editor’s Note:

The Unilever International Award supported by Business Fights Poverty recognises businesses that have positively impacted one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Award is part of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards.

The companies awarded a Big Tick in this category have positively impacted over seven million beneficiaries. These companies are helping to eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equality, support various aspects of the health agenda, and build global partnerships for development between civil society, business and governments. These programmes demonstrate innovation, scale and the potential to be replicated, highlighting the importance of business as a key enabler of the MDGs.

The case studies profiled in this week’s special on Business Fights Poverty provide more detail about the programmes that achieved a Big Tick and those shortlisted for the top accolade. For more information, click here.

This blog was previously published on Business In The Community and is reproduced with permission.

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