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Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation OR

Sparkassenstiftung for Internationale Kooperation(SBFIC)

From founding to the present day:

On behalf of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, the Sparkassenstiftung for internationale Kooperation has dedicated more than 25 years to the promotion of universal financial access and economic development around the world.


1992: The year Sparkassenstiftung came into being

As long ago as 1961, the Egyptian government asked the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV) to assist it with the creation of credit cooperatives in the Nile Delta. In the 1980s, Germany's Sparkassen repeatedly received requests for support from developing countries wishing to establish financial institutions. Sparkassenstiftung thus launched projects in Asia – Bangladesh, China and Sri Lanka – and in Africa too - Botswana, Kenya, Namibia and Uganda. In Latin America, it started operating in Colombia and Peru. 

The fall of the iron curtain and the break-up of the Soviet Union brought new challenges for the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. The Sparkassen in the former Global Depository Receipt(GDR) had to be restructured and enabled to operate in a social market economy. Once this task was completed, there followed a surge in the number of requests for support from Central and Eastern European countries.

The Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe responded to this international demand for its expertise and experience by founding the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation. Its task is to promote economic and social development in other countries and to expand development-policy engagement.

In December 1991, the DSGV General Assembly adopted a resolution officially establishing the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation e.V. which opened for business on June 1 1992.

1994: Making learning fun

This is the year Sparkassenstiftung first used a business game to coach staff in a partner institution – a move that replaced the passive transfer of knowledge with an exchange of experience. In the meantime, our business simulations are amongst the most important instruments used in Sparkassenstiftung project work.

1997: A Philippines-based NGO becomes a bank

Sparkassenstiftung assisted the Philippines-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) CARD to establish its own bank. CARD went on to obtain a bank license in 1997. Today it advises other microfinance institutions throughout Asia. 

Many of CARD's customers have since moved on from the microfinance sector and built up small and medium-sized enterprises. To support them, CARD purchased a small regional bank in 2011 which it transformed into an SME bank with an extended product range. Through assignments lasting several weeks at a time, experienced professionals from Germany's Sparkassen assisted CARD SME with risk management, product and HR development and cost management – thus promoting economic growth in the Philippines. 

2000: German-Polish Sparkassen Cooperation Office

The German-Polish Savings Banks Cooperation Office was set up to foster cross-frontier business ventures. This Sparkassenstiftung project ended just two years later with the handover of responsibility to the Sparkassen in the German-Polish frontier region. An innovative project, it proved such a major success it is still continuing to support the region's economy and help bring Europe closer together to this very day. 


2002: German-Azerbaijani Fund (GAF)

Loans for small enterprises in Azerbaijan are promoted using the KfW's German-Azerbaijani Fund. Azerbaijan's Finance Ministry commissioned Sparkassenstiftung to administer this fund in 2006.“The Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation is the development-policy arm of the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe. Its task is to disseminate the successful Sparkasse model across regional borders and around the globe. By enabling people in developing countries and emerging economies to access financial services, it aims to create opportunities that will allow them to leave poverty behind.

2017 saw Sparkassenstiftung celebrate its 25-year anniversary. Since it was first founded in 1992, it has implemented more than 200 projects in over 80 countries worldwide. More than 2,000 Sparkassen employees have been deployed on project assignments and over 200 permanent staff members are today working to promote financial inclusion - and their numbers are growing.

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