MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: $1m Investment from Wells Fargo Helps Grameen America Open Microfinance Bank in San Francisco, Its Fifth in the US

Grameen America, a microlender in the US whose board is chaired by Dr Muhammad Yunus of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, has made plans to open its fifth branch in the United States. Grameen America, which already has three branches in New York City and one in Omaha, Nebraska, announced that it will use USD 1 million in equity investments from the Community Lending and Investment division of the financial services provider, Wells Fargo and Company, to open a new branch bank in San Francisco, California.

Branch managers from Grameen Bank in Bangladesh will relocate to San Francisco to establish and manage operations, the news release states.

As of May 2010, Grameen America has disbursed 2,600 loans and USD 5 million in loan capital. Its borrowers have deposited savings totaling USD 350,000. All loans are provided via a, group-lending model, and each loan is used to start a new business or expand an existing one.

About Grameen America

Grameen America is a nonprofit microfinance organization based in New York City that was founded by Dr Muhammad Yunus to replicate the model of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. It provides group loans to low-income entrepreneurs. Grameen America launched its first branch in Queens, New York, in January 2008. As of May 2010, Grameen America had disbursed USD 5 million in loans to 2,600 borrowers, and its borrowers have deposited savings totaling USD 350,000. Grameen America currently reports a repayment rate of 99 percent.

Grameen America does not report to the MIX Market.

About Grameen (Bangladesh)

Grameen Bank is a Bangladeshi microfinance institution (MFI) that provides collateral-free loans to poor entrepreneurs in rural areas. It was founded in the late 1970?s by Mohammed Yunus, who, along with Grameen Bank, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in developing the concept of microfinance. According to the MIX Market, the microfinance information clearinghouse, Grameen Bank reported total assets of USD 1.2 billion, a gross loan portfolio of USD 817 million, 0.43 percent return on assets (ROA) and 4.45 percent return on equity (ROE) as of December 2009.

About Wells Fargo and Company:

Wells Fargo and Company is a financial services company that provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through 10,000 stores and 12,000 automated teller machines (ATMs) and the internet across North America and internationally. As of May 2010, Wells Fargo reported USD 1.2 trillion in total assets.

Wells Fargo and Company does not report to the MIX Market.

By Matthew Fox, Research Assistant

Sources and Additional Resources:

Grameen America: Press Release: http://www.grameenamerica.com/images/stories/media_pack/Grameen_042810_v2.pdf

Wells Fargo and Company: https://www.wellsfargo.com/

MicroCapital Universe: Grameen Bank of Bangladesh: https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+Bank#Just_the_Facts_14_word_limit_per_line_

MicroCapital Universe: Grameen America: https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Grameen+America

Browse the MicroCapital Universe and add your entry to the wiki at: https://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/

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