Credit Suisse offers its clients investment opportunities in the area of financial inclusion. It also gives microfinance institutions (MFIs) 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).
Credit Suisse was one of the first financial institutions in Switzerland to recognize the potential of microloans, and has been an active donor and investor in the field for nearly two decades. Together with a small number of early movers, Credit Suisse founded responsAbility Investments AG in 2003 and today collaborates with them and other specialized asset managers to offer a range of microfinance investment funds.
Demand for microfinance investments is rising steadily as they yield both financial and social returns. By end of March 2020, the responsAbility Global Micro and SME Finance Fund, which reported more than 750 million USD in assets under management, had provided loans to hundreds of thousands of microentrepreneurs in 61 countries through more than 170 MFIs.
A private equity fund that was launched in 2007 also enables investors to participate directly in small and medium-sized enterprises and MFIs.In addition, Credit Suisse has pioneered the development of new funds and products in-house, as well as IPOs and bond issuances to finance MFIs through our capital markets groups.
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 regularly sponsors various international and regional conferences and symposia in the area of financial inclusion, microfinance and impact investing.