Sakchyam and Bank of Kathmandu Partner to Open New Branches to Enhance Access to Finance in Rural and Semi Urban Markets in Mid & Far Western Region

September 19, 2015

June 30, 2015 – Sakchyam Access to Finance Programme and Bank of Kathmandu Limited (BOK) have signed a partnership agreement to open new branches to enhance access to finance in rural and semi urban market segments. The partnership, which is the second between Sakchyam and BOK since February 2015, will open a total of six new BoK branches – in Bardia, Dang, Kanchanpur, Kailali, Pyuthan and Rupandehi.

With the new partnership, rural and semi urban market segments will be able to enjoy required financial services at ease, boosting the region’s economic activity. Sakchyam will BOK in focusing on providing a complete suite of financial products i.e. savings, micro loans targeting women entrepreneurs, smallholder farmers, remittance facility alongside tailored financial services to SME/MSMEs operating in the region with the support of Sakchyam. Moreover, BOK will also seek to extend its financial coverage benefitting various other marginalized communities through ‘wholesale loans’ to local financial institutions including local cooperatives.

Talking about the impact of the partnership with Sakchyam, Mr. Ajay Shrestha, CEO, Bank of Kathmandu said, “Continuing BOK’s initiatives in reaching out to underserved market segments and communities directly, through this partnership with Sakchyam, BOK will disburse close to NPR 1 billion in loans targeting marginalized market segments such as farmers, women entrepreneurs, agriculture-focused businesses as well as other local SME and MSMEs. It will also facilitate more than 15,000 predominantly small deposit accountholders such as farmers, youth, and women to inculcate saving habit and join the formal financial system.”

Speaking at the event, Mr. Surya Prasad Acharya, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Chairman, Sakchyam Steering Committee said, “Last year, our government decided to add 72 new municipalities to develop villages into urban areas. I am very pleased to note that Sakchyam – which is rightly positioned to facilitate access of full range of financial services to these areas – is already forging partnerships to bring financial services to some of these municipalities. The presence of institutions like Bank of Kathmandu will ensure that the local population and businesses have access to financial products and services to be a part of growing economic activities.”

Talking about the new partnership, Sakchyam Team Leader Mr. Baljit Vohra said, “Through this partnership with BoK, we are launching financial services in rural and semi urban segments that will help transform the economic landscape of not just the programme districts, but the wider region. Our partnership experience with BoK on the Invoice Discounting product has been very successful; I am confident that this new partnership will bring significant change in the livelihoods of the rural poor in the region.”