Banco de las Microfinanzas - Bancamía S.A (Bancamía) is a recognized social bank, specializing in microfinance, that opened its doors to the public in 2008 with the aim of improving the quality of life of low-income families. It was formed from the merger of three non-profit entities: Corporación Mundial de la Mujer Colombia, Corporación Mundial de la Mujer Medellín and the BBVA Microfinance Foundation. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) became a partner in 2010.
Made up of 3,583 coworkers, it focuses mainly on vulnerable Colombians in both urban and rural areas who find it difficult to access products and financial services because of their economic situation. Bancamía believes in people’s capabilities and abilities, recognizing their natural aspiration to progress by generating productive activities. All the clients whom the institution supports with credits carry out a productive activity in trade, services, production or farming. For these Colombians, Bancamía offers financial and non-financial products and services tailored to their needs. These range from microcredits, savings accounts and TDCs (term deposit certificates), to insurance and International transfers, and channels and services such as mobile banking and debit cards, whilst also providing financial education.
It operates through 200 branch offices in 29 of Colombia’s 32 departments (91% of the departments), looking after clients in 889 municipalities covering 80% of the country’s landmass. It also has its own, well-positioned network of 3,400 banking correspondents.
For Bancamía, the best way of fighting poverty and inequality is by sowing a positive future among low-income families. Responsible Productive Finances have become an efficient tool helping the most disadvantaged communities to develop socially and economically, by providing them with products and services aimed at generating revenues and profits by running a business. This will continue to be he bank's goal in 2016.
María Mercedes Gómez
Olga Lucia Calzada
Carlos Hernán Quintero
Vice-President, Client Product Development
Juan Manuel Rincón
Vice-President, Staff Development
Luis Enrique Collante
Vice-President, IT & Resources
Edith María Hoyos
José Antonio Colomer
Innovation and technology at the service of financial inclusion in rural communities: Bancamía improves process management and reduces the barriers to entry on banking services for geographically remote population groups thanks to the use of mobile applications.
Protecting the environment is part of the sustainable development promoted by Bancamía among its entrepreneurs, with strategies in green products and eco-efficiency, creating a society that respects its surroundings.
Bancamía, in line with its long-term commitment to the responsible financial inclusion of Colombians, developed important IT projects over the course of 2015.
Bancamía received a special “Shared Value Award” as a finalist in these Awards given by the Bogotá Chamber of Commerce to recognize companies which have contributed to improving the living standards of the general population, the productivity of their suppliers and to achieving greater efficiency in the value chain, whilst simultaneously increasing their income. The Chamber of Commerce highlighted Bancamía’s Agriculture (Agromía) credit lines, which serve to provide working and investment capital for micro-farming producers, so that they can strengthen their businesses.
The Executive President of Bancamía was designated Female Entrepreneur of the Year in Colombia by EY (Ernst & Young), which created the category this year.
The Executive President of Bancamía was nominated in the Portfolio 2015 prizes in the category of Best Business Leader.
Bancamía client Daniel Cepeda whose business is producing and selling prepared food which he distributes to a number of companies in Colombia using in-office food carts, won the Micro-entrepreneurship Award. This prize supports the growth of small companies that have a high impact on the economic development of particular regions, families and communities. The award recognizes the vision and continuous striving to progress on the part of these entrepreneurs. Daniel Cepeda began his “Tu Carrito Ofiexpress” business in 2010 when was a soft-goods suppler. After some initial success, he started up a line of food products. From the outset he has relied on Bancamía to help him with business development and the institution has originated several loans adapted to the development phases of his young firm.
The Colombian economy grew between 2.7% and 3.0% in 2015, the second worst year in growth terms since 2002. Despite the deterioration in private consumption and the external sector, the greater boost to public spending was a sustaining factor for the economy. In the last 10 years, the Colombian economy has increased its dependency on the mining/energy sector, which has risen from representing 2% to 8% of GDP, but accounts for 70% of exports and 85% of foreign direct investment (FDI), making up 20% of the Government’s entire fiscal income.
The sharp correction in oil prices was the cause of the 35% fall in exports over the year and for a similar drop in FDI which, taken with a 65% slump in portfolio flows has resulted in a 40% correction in the exchange rate, taking it to an area of slight real undervaluation.
This external sector performance generated a current account deficit of around 7% of GDP, one of the highest in the world among similar-sized economies and one which, despite the fall in domestic demand and the correction in the exchange rate, will remain, mainly as result of the structural fall in oil prices and the weak performance of the Venezuelan and Ecuadorean economies, traditionally major export markets.
This situation in the external sector and the effect on portfolio flows of international financial conditions impacted by the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy normalization process does not appear to be transitory, but rather to be affecting the Colombian economy in the long term, in a period during which elements of excessive spending by agents were apparent, reflected in the steep current account deficit, which needs correction in order to prevent this trend from continuing to the point of unsustainability. For this reason the adjustment should be made via domestic demand, to correct the excess spending at a time of continuing cuts in revenues.
The policy response was not counter-cyclical and relative prices were raised between exportable goods and the rest, so that a sharp adjustment in the exchange rate could be effected in order to reduce the dependence on oil revenues, and in search of a change of focus in production, as well as an emphasis on the expenditure type, domestic production and a correction in imports.
The oil situation caused tax revenues to fall, resulting in a 3.3% fiscal deficit, despite the correction in the level of fiscal expenditure and its lower weight as a proportion of GDP.
On the demand side, the adjustment in 2015 was based on lower government spending, which grew at half the rate of 2014, a result of less fiscal expansiveness, while the household correction was softer, sliding from 4.4% real growth in 2014, to 3.2% in 2015. Investment is the demand component which has corrected most, moving from an increase in real terms of 11.7% to growth of around 3% in 2015, with a sharp adjustment in private investment which has been partly offset by the strong boost to investment in building projects. Nevertheless, investment growth in 2015 was 70% lower than in the previous five years, whereas the correction to household expenditure was 17%.
The external sector, despite the correction to the exchange rate and lower growth of imports, will contract because of the effect of a modest recovery in exports.
On the supply side, the construction sector made the biggest contribution to growth, expanding by around 5.3%, mainly as a result of civil building works, and particularly the major investment made in highways and a more expansionary management of civil works on the part of local corporations and regions around the country, associated with the political cycle of regional elections next year.
Growth in the retail sector will be under 3%, as a result of the contraction in the demand for durable and semi-durable goods and the sharp moderation in private consumption. The industry reported growth of around 1%, in spite of the decline in manufacturing production and energy demand in the final part of the year. The effect of the real adjustment in the exchange rate has been to boost the sector at year end, but offset by the lag in the expansion and modernization of the refinery in Cartagena, the impact of which will be noticed in 2016.
The combination of a severe exchange rate correction and the hike in food prices has driven up inflation, which ended the year at around 6%, well above the central bank’s targets. The exchange rate correction had a major impact on the prices of imported goods and inputs which affected production costs, while the impact on food was the result of weather factors affecting the price of fresh food products.
In order to prevent these inflation levels from undermining the credibility of their targets, as well as medium- and long-term expectations, and from producing an unwished-for loss of this anchor for stabilizing wage and service restraints, the central bank responded aggressively on the money market, adjusting intervention rates four times in the final quarter, closing at 5.75%, a rise of 125 base points from the close of 2014.
Despite the slower momentum in the economy, the employment rate improved a little in 2014, to 58.9%. Waged employment grew by 3.5% whereas self-employed workers increased by 2.5%. The latter make up 47% of the labor force and informal employment accounts for 60% of the labor force, a structural feature of the Colombian labor market.
The latest official figures available on going to press, from July 2014 to June 2015, report that 28.2 % of the population nationwide is poor, which is 1.1pp (percentage points) down on the same 12-month period the previous year. In all, 402,000 people came out of poverty in this period. 7.9 % of the population was in a situation of extreme poverty, 0.5pp down from the previous 12 month period.
According to these economic poverty measurements over the last five years, over 4 million people have come out of poverty, which has fallen by 10.8pp, while 2 million have come out of extreme poverty.