Of the 28 million inhabitants of Peru, over 50% live under the poverty line. Poverty is particularly widespread in the rural highlands (sierra). The project aims to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of these poorest population strata of the Andean nation. By promoting access to secure savings opportunities and inexpensive loans, people are helped to help themselves improve their difficult circumstances. The project includes activities in the regions of Ayacucho, Cusco, Apurimac, Huancavelica and Puno, which have particularly high levels of poverty.
Using education and training measures and technical assistance, three microfinance cooperatives are given the ability to supplement their savings and loan palette with innovative products that are closely geared to the needs of the poor population. This project funded by the Microfinance Initiative Liechtenstein enhances the degree of professionalization of these financial service providers and triggers a dynamic resulting in the opening of three new branches. Accordingly, existing customers benefit from the project measures by receiving an improved selection of services, and new customers in previously unserviced areas benefit by gaining access to financial services for the first time.
Specific project goals
- Strengthening three savings and loan cooperatives through technical advice and training of staff.
- Improving the existing service offerings and introducing new banking products.
- Establishing one new branch each, with the goal of granting new customers (especially farming families and very small entrepreneurs) access to demand-oriented savings and loan possibilities.
The selected rural savings-and-loans are already subject to supervision by the Peruvian banking commission and accordingly have the internal structures and processes required by law. Since no support is needed in this regard, the project can focus on the development, market introduction, and expansion of financial products as well as the establishment of new branches.
Microfinance is a market. Subsidies and less expensive capital procurement for microfinance institutions represent a distortion of the market and can only be justified by extraordinary circumstances. The Microfinance Initiative Liechtenstein only offers support in the form of technical assistance.
Also in the area of technical assistance, attention is paid to financial sustainability. The products of the microfinance banks must be profitable in the long term.
Organization of implementation
The project is implemented by Swisscontact. This organization has many years of experience in the field of technical assistance for microfinance and has already carried out several such projects. Swisscontact has been active in Peru since 1966.
The project has a volume of USD 804,000.,The project is funded by (in alphabetical order):
- Hilti Family Foundation
- Liechtenstein Development Service
- Medicor Foundation
The project cooperates with five partner MFIs:
- ‘Quillacoop’, Savings and Credit Union in Cusco
- ‘Senor de los Temblores’, Savings and Credit Union in Cusco
- ‘Los Andes de Cotarusi’, Savings and Credit Union in Apurimac
- ‘Virgen de las Nieves’, Savings and Credit Union in Ayacucho
- ‘Los Andes’, Rural Bank in Puno
Some indicators on the progress on MFI level:
- Range of growth in credit placements from 93% to 322%
- Range of growth in savings accounts from 76% to 344%
- Inprovement in the late payment average from 5.4% to 3.4%
- Improvement in the profitability average from 6.2% to 22%
- 7 new agencies are working