Credit Suisse offers its clients investment opportunities in the area of financial inclusion and microfinance. It also gives microfinance institutions access to the capital markets through the investment bank and facilitates market development and innovation through the Financial Inclusion Initiative (FII; formerly the Microfinance Capacity Building Initiative).
Because of the large and constantly growing demand for small loans and other financial services, microfinance institutions (MFI s) need access to refinancing, for example through so-called Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIV). Demand for microfinance investments is rising steadily as they yield both financial and social returns.
Credit Suisse was one of the first financial institutions in Switzerland to recognize the potential of microloans. We have been involved in this field at various levels for many years. For example, together with partner banks we founded responsAbility Investments AG in 2001 and now offer a range of microfinance investment funds in conjunction with this company.
By end of March 2018, the responsAbility Micro and SME Finance Fund, which reported more than 1 billion USD in assets under management, had provided loans to over 705,000 microentrepreneurs in 84 countries through more than 290 microfinance institutions (MFI).
A private equity fund that was launched in 2007 also enables investors to participate directly in small and medium-sized enterprises and microfinance institutions. At the same time, we offer various investment and advisory services in the microfinance sector.
Credit Suisse has also collaborated to meet the industry’s larger capital needs by providing a variety of advisory services through its investment bank, including the landmark IPO for Banco Compartamos in April 2007 and the Indian microfinance institution SKS in July 2010. Credit Suisse sponsored various international and regional conferences and symposia in the area of financial inclusion, microfinance and impact investing.