Last April, BNP Paribas Russia in association with the Microfinance department granted a USD 2 million loan over 2 years to the Microfinance Institution (MFI), MFI “FINCA” CJSC (FINCA Russia). This institution belongs to the global network of FINCA International, one of the most experienced microfinance networks present in 21 countries of Africa, Eurasia, the Greater Middle East Region and Latin America.

The MFI's micro-loans, with an average size of USD 3 200 (about 20% of the per capita GDP) have helped more than 100,000 clients since the beginning of operations in 1999 , 64% of them women. Between 15-20% of the clients of FINCA Russia are Russian speaking resettlers from the former USSR attracted by better and safer living conditions and traditional multicultural and multi-confessional society and business opportunities in the Russian Federation.

Their lack of credit history and their low initial income situation (approximately 20% live below the poverty line) prevent them from getting a loan from the traditional banking system. This institution does an exceptional job meeting their expectations as Clients' turnover rate is only 3% as of April 2011.

Moreover FINCA has endorsed the SMART Campaign, which is a global effort to unite microfinance leaders around the common goal, to work on the side of clients on the following issues: appropriate products, prevention of over-indebtedness, transparency, responsible pricing, privacy of client data and mechanisms of complaint resolution.

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