IFC helps local banks expand services to small businesses

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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-sector arm of the World Bank, is helping Vietnamese banks provide financial services to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Vietnam.

Small- and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, are considered a driving force of economic growth and job creation. However, in the Mekong region of VIetnam, smaller enterprises struggle to finance their businesses growth.

"Financial institutions often reject SMEs as too risky, usually because they try to serve them using corporate or consumer banking models," said Matthew Gamser, the principal of IFC's Advisory Services to East Asia and the Pacific.

"Those that rise to the challenge, developing new approaches that fit this market, find that SMEs can become one of their most profitable business lines."

IFC, in collaboration with the governments of Japan and the Netherlands, began a four-day training course on Monday.

The training was aimed at helping bankers build sustainable small-and medium-sized banking operations in Ho Chi Minh City and gathered more than 35 bankers and trainers from 15 institutions in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

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