Ever respectful of the needs of the least fortunate, The First MicroFinanceBank in Tajikistan will endeavor to enable the poor to build a secure future with dignity and pride, while introducing good practices, ethical precepts and the highest standard of rectitude in the conduct of business.
Established in 2003, FMFB-T was the first commercial bank in Tajikistan with the principal focus on the provision of microcredit lending. The Bank has a national mandate to provide a comprehensive range of financial services to the poor throughout the country. In addition to its Head Office in Dushanbe, the Bank currently has branches in Khorog, Gharm, Khojand, Kulyab and will open another branch in Kurgan-Tube in 2010. These branches are supported by a far-reaching network of district offices serving peri-urban and rural areas.
The Bank is affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) – a group of nine development agencies working in health, education, culture and rural and economic development, primarily in Asia and Africa. Two AKDN programmes have been lending to Tajik entrepreneurs and farmers since the early 1990s. The Mountain Societies Development Support Programme (MSDSP), which provided credit to small farmers and women’s groups, helped Tajikistan make the difficult transition following its independence from the Soviet Union. The embryo of FMFB was another microfinance programme, the Enterprise Support Facility (ESF). This was established by the Aga Khan Foundation for the Economic Development (AKFED) in 1996 and lent primarily to small entrepreneurs. The staff of ESF provided the Bank with its core microfinance expertise and a solid client base on which to establish its lending activities.
The Bank currently provides a
variety of credit and housing products and savings products and facilitates the international transfer of workers’ remittances back into Tajikistan. The Bank is also offering other services, like foreign exchange and payroll services. New services and products will be offered on the same basis as the Bank’s credit programme, that is, at rates that support the institution’s mandate of poverty alleviation and sustainability into the future. In addition, given the nascent state of the banking system in the country, the government has permitted the Bank to provide credit to small and medium businesses, contribute to the development of an efficient payment system, and offer deposit facilities to a broad array of domestic and international depositors.
The Bank would not be able to provide these services without the ongoing commitment of its shareholders and partners. The Bank’s equity is held by two AKDN agencies, as well as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Germany’s KfW Banking Group. The International reputation and financial strength of these shareholders play an important role in building local confidence in the Bank’s durability and the security of customer deposits. The Bank also receives vital technical support from KfW and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
As a key investment of the AKDN in the long-term development of Tajikistan, the Bank regularly consults other agencies of the AKDN and various international agencies and NGOs working in Tajikistan to ensure that its operations are contributing to the overall development of the country.
The Bank is fully licensed by the National Bank of Tajikistan (NBT) and is periodically inspected by the NBT and other statutory authorities.
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