IFC Partners with Armenia’s Union of Banks to strengthen financial sector, boost economy

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with Armenia’s Union of Banks to strengthen the financial sector by helping train staff of financial institutions on how to better manage risks and provide services to small and medium businesses, supporting economic recovery in the country.

IFC and the Union of Banks of Armenia signed a cooperation agreement today to train employees of financial institutions in risk management and banking for small and medium enterprises. A series of trainings will share international practice in those areas with staff of financial institutions, helping them improve their capacity to avoid further financial shocks and strengthen lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with IFC to help promote international experience and knowledge to the banking sector of Armenia,” said Ashot Osipyan, President of the Union of Banks of Armenia.

Thomas Lubeck, IFC Regional Manager for the South Caucasus, said, “IFC has significantly increased its activities in Armenia’s banking sector. This new cooperation is another opportunity to enhance the capacity of employees in the financial sector. Through this initiative we will help local banks provide better services to their clients across various sectors of the economy, contributing to growth.”

This initiative is part of the IFC Banking Advisory Program in Europe and Central Asia, designed to support financial institutions in their recovery from the global economic crisis and supporting long-term sustainable economic development in the region. IFC is implementing the project in Armenia in partnership with the Development Bank of Austria (OeEB).

Armenia became a member and a shareholder of IFC in 1995. Since then, IFC has invested $238 million in 37 projects across a range of sectors, including financial markets, manufacturing, and mining. IFC Advisory Services provides advice through projects focusing on the financial sector, sustainable energy, regulatory simplification, and food safety.

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