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29.01.2007

Provide capital, not charity

  • BA-CA supports international microfinance society Oikocredit

Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) is supporting Oikocredit Initiative Austria with a payment of EUR 20,000. Assisted by more than 700 project partners around the world Oikocredit grants microfinance and project finance to people in developing countries. For many people these loans act as a springboard out of poverty, by turning them from needing help into "small entrepreneurs" or by opening up real business opportunities through buying a cow, a small market stall or a tortilla oven for example. The funding for these microcredits comes from large institutions and individuals alike. "Provide capital, not charity - I really liked this approach. Oikocredit helps the poorest of the poor in establishing and securing a humane existence", said Erich Hampel, Chief Executive Officer of BA-CA.

Oikocredit was set up in 1975 in the Netherlands upon the initiative of the World Council of Churches. The credit co-operative active in Austria since 1990 has set itself the goal of obtaining funding for credits to develop poor areas around the world, including in Austria. With more than 27,000 members and capital of approximately EUR 290 million the international Oikocredit Initiative numbers among the most influential microfinance organisations in the world. This capital is deployed in more than 60 countries around Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia to provide microcredits and project financing, reaching more than 400,000 people.

Members of the co-operative societies receive an annual dividend on their capital of up to two percent, safe in the knowledge that their money is effectively helping to combat poverty. In contrast to donations which provide important one-off impulses, investment forms such as Oikocredit impact on a continuous basis in that they can be used again and again in the form of microcredits. Moreover, the capital investment can be withdrawn at any time.


Enquiries: Bank Austria Creditanstalt Press Office
Tiemon Kiesenhofer, Tel: +43 (0)5 05 05 52819; e-mail: tiemon.kiesenhofer@ba-ca.com