Meet the Year of Microcredit 2005 Sponsors!
The United Nations wishes to acknowledge the generous support of the core sponsors of the International Year of Microcredit: Citigroup, ING, UNCDF, the United Nations Foundation and VISA
Citigroup (NYSE: C), the preeminent global financial services
company with some 200 million customer accounts in more than
100 countries, provides consumers, corporations, governments
and institutions with a broad range of financial products
and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate
and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage,
and asset management. Major brand names under Citigroup's
trademark red umbrella include Citibank, CitiFinancial, Primerica,
Smith Barney, Banamex, and Travelers Life and Annuity.
In all its operations, ING seeks a careful balance between the interests of its stakeholders: its customers, shareholders, employees and society at large. Acknowledging its role as a corporate citizen, ING actively promotes enabling sustainable access to financial services in local communities in developing countries. Microfinance is an important tool to achieve this end. Therefore, ING will be one of the core sponsors of the International Year of Microcredit and has developed a comprehensive action plan for becoming more engaged in microfinance.
The Year will increase the awareness of the importance of
microfinance for development. ING believes that providing
access to financial products - be it small or large sums,
simple or complex products — to manage financial needs,
gives people better control over their lives. Financial intermediation
eases (economic) decision-making and offers ways to grow
businesses, thus creating more opportunities for development.
ING shares its expertise and other resources with selected
partners to promote building accessible financial sectors,
also in the informal economic realities in the developing
To carry out the Year mandate, Member States approved the
Secretary General’s Draft Programme of Action [A/58/179]
and invited UNCDF and the United Nations Department of Economic
and Social Affairs (UNDESA) to become joint coordinators
for the Year. The Secretariat, responsible for the operational
management of coordinating the Year, is housed at UNCDF.
Visa's sponsorship of the International Year of Microcredit
2005 is a representation of its strong commitment to expanding
access to the financial system through innovative partnerships
and product offerings. Visa firmly believes in electronic
payments as a catalyst for economic growth and opportunity.
For example, Visa's collaboration with organizations such
as FINCA International and financial institutions such as
Mibanco, which provide microfinancing for low-income persons
and businesses, can create economic opportunity and bring
millions into the global financial system..