BRAC Uganda Bank launched
BRAC’s microfinance work is transforming to broaden access to financial services
KAMPALA, UGANDA — 25 April 2019 — BRAC, the largest microfinance provider in Uganda, is transforming to a Tier 2 credit institution to broaden the range of financial services it provides to Uganda’s low-income communities. On behalf of the president of Uganda, First Deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali formally inaugurated the newly licensed institution, BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd. (BUBL), at a ceremony held at the bank’s Kabuusu branch on April 25, 2019. Evelyn Anite, the State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatization, was also present at the ceremony.
BRAC started its microfinance program in Uganda in 2006, since expanding its footprint to 163 branches across 84 districts and reaching more than 200,000 clients. As part of its commitment to ensuring greater financial inclusion, particularly for marginalized women in rural and low-income communities, BRAC pursued a change in regulatory status from a Tier 4 to a Tier 2 institution in order to expand the scope of its financial services. The transformation will enable BUBL to offer savings accounts, money transfers, insurance, and other financial services, in addition to its existing credit products, to the people of Uganda.
In his remarks, First Deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali stated, “BRAC has a specific focus on women, youth, and rural populations. I am very pleased that these are also the three priority areas of the comprehensive strategy that the Ugandan Government has developed for financial inclusion.”
“We are honored and excited to have this opportunity to strengthen our ties with Uganda and contribute further to improving access to safe, reliable, and fit-for-purpose financial services through our new banking operation. BRAC believes that given the right opportunities and tools, people living in poverty can turn around their own lives,” said Shameran Abed, Senior Director of BRAC’s Microfinance and Ultra-Poor Graduation programs. “BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd. will remain true to BRAC’s core mission of enabling communities, particularly women living in poverty in those in rural and hard-to-reach areas, to realize their potential. Our increased range of financial services will enhance self-employment opportunities, build financial resilience, and better harness our clients’ entrepreneurial spirit,” he added.
The transition from a Tier 4 credit-only NGO to a Tier 2 credit institution will allow BRAC to drive more impactful financial inclusion at an even greater scale.
“Our clients can now have the confidence and trust of saving at a formal institution, a critical component that ensures resilience for low-income households in times of social or economic shocks,” said Jimmy Adiga, the CEO of BUBL.
As a part of the transformation process, BRAC has partnered with three mission-aligned investors: German Investment Corporation (DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH), a German development finance institution; Equator Capital Partners, an experienced fund manager that invests in financial inclusion; and Triple Jump, a Dutch impact-focused investment manager that advises the ASN Beleggingsfondsen, which invests in financial services providers in developing countries. These partners each bring unique value and expertise to BUBL and will support BRAC in providing affordable and responsible financial services to the people of Uganda.
BRAC hosted a full day of events with its staff, partners, clients, regulators, and other stakeholders to celebrate this landmark achievement. Following the morning’s ceremonial opening with the Prime Minister of Uganda at BUBL’s head office, a launch event with a broader community of stakeholders took place at the Kampala Serena Hotel later in the evening. Mr. Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune, the Minister of State for Microfinance, and Dr. Louis Kasekende, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda, attended the event as the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honor, respectively.
Notes to the Editor
BRAC is a global leader in developing and implementing cost-effective, evidence-based programs to assist the most marginalized people in extremely poor, conflict-prone, and post-disaster settings. These include initiatives in education, healthcare, microfinance, women and girls’ empowerment, agriculture, human and legal rights, and more. BRAC’s vision is a world free from all forms of exploitation and discrimination where everyone has the opportunity to realize their potential. Founded in Bangladesh in 1972, BRAC acts as a catalyst, creating opportunities for people to transform their lives. BRAC employs more than 110,000 people in 11 countries, with a total global expenditure of more than $1 billion. More than 75% percent of its budget in Bangladesh is self-financed through its social enterprises. Learn more at brac.net.
About BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd.
BRAC has worked in Uganda since 2006, with a focus on advancing women’s empowerment, furthering education for children and adolescent girls, addressing the root causes of gender-based violence, creating livelihoods for smallholder farmers, and supporting people to lift themselves out of ultra-poverty. BRAC has also conducted microfinance activities through a separate entity, BRAC Uganda Microfinance Ltd. From 2008 to 2018, BRAC grew its borrowers from 60,000 to more than 200,000, and expanded its network of branches from 61 to 163. In 2016, BRAC made the decision to transition to a Tier 2 credit institution, and was awarded the Tier 2 license in March 2019.
Matt Kertman, Senior Manager for Communications
+1 (212) 808 5615
BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd
Afema Robert, Customer Care and Communications Manager
+256 772 120 305 / +256 752 212 305