ProCredit Group Central Bank Mandatory Reserves Coverage
On December 22, 2010, MIGA issued a guarantee of $25 million to ProCredit Holding (PCH) covering its investment in its subsidiary in Albania. The coverage is for a period of up to 10 years against the risk of expropriation of funds for mandatory reserves held by the subsidiary in the central bank of its jurisdiction.[i]
This project is part of a master contract that MIGA has issued. PCH is headquartered in Germany and is the parent company of 21 banks (ProCredit group). The ProCredit group is a provider of finance to some 750,000 very small, small, and medium enterprises in Latin America, Eastern and Central Europe, and Africa. Throughout the world, banks are required to maintain mandatory reserves with the central banks of their respective jurisdictions. The ProCredit group’s capital adequacy ratio (CAR) is calculated according to the German Banking Act. Under this act, at a consolidated level, reserves deposited at the various central banks can attract a risk weighting of 100 or even 150 percent depending on the country. This risk weighting determines the amount of equity required to maintain a specified CAR in accordance with the German Banking Act.
The guarantee issued by MIGA will help PCH obtain capital relief from the CAR requirements. By obtaining MIGA’s insurance against the risk of expropriation of funds, the risk weighting for mandatory reserves held at the central bank can be reduced. A lower risk weighting will allow PCH to free up equity currently tied up for CAR maintenance purposes, thereby allowing these funds to be injected into its subsidiary banks. This in turn will allow PCH’s emerging market subsidiary banks across its network to increase its lending activities.
MIGA’s support will help PCH optimize its capital management across its 21 banks, allowing PCH to direct equity to subsidiaries with the greatest need. These banks will be able to offer additional financial services to very small, small, and medium enterprises at a time of macroeconomic challenges. Supporting productive small businesses will help stimulate growth, generate employment, and reduce poverty.
MIGA’s support for this project is aligned with the World Bank Group’s microfinance strategy which includes improving the supply of microfinance in large, but underserved markets; enhancing deposit capacity by assisting microfinance institutions in savings mobilization; capacity building; creating and shaping markets; and fostering innovation.
[i] The guarantee was cancelled on December 21, 2020.