Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | BRAC, one of the largest microfinance providers in Uganda, has been transformed into a Tier 2 Credit Institution (CI) to broaden the range of financial services it provides to low-income communities.
First Deputy Prime Minister General Moses Ali represented President Yoweri Museveni April 25 at the inauguration of the newly licensed institution – BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd (BUBL) at a ceremony held at the bank’s Kabuusu branch. He was joined by Evelyn Anite, the State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatization.
BRAC started its microfinance programme in Uganda in 2006, growing its footprint to 163 branches across 84 districts with more than 200,000 clients. As part of its commitment to ensuring greater financial inclusion, especially for marginalized women in rural and low-income communities, BRAC has been pursuing a change in its regulatory status that would allow it to expand the scope of its financial services.
The transformation will enable BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd to offer savings accounts, money transfer, insurance and other financial services in addition to its existing credit products to the people of Uganda.
First Deputy Prime Minister Moses Ali said, “BRAC has a specific focus on women, youth and rural population. I am very much pleased that these are also the three priority areas of the comprehensive strategy that the Ugandan Government developed for financial inclusion.”
Shameran Abed, Senior Director of BRAC’s Microfinance and Ultra-Poor Graduation programme said the increased range of financial services will enhance self-employment opportunities, build financial resilience, and better harness their clients’ entrepreneurial spirit.
“We are honoured and excited to have this opportunity to strengthen our ties with Uganda and contribute further in improving access to safe, reliable and fit-for-purpose financial services through our new banking operation. BRAC believes that given the right opportunities and tools, people living in poverty can turnaround their own lives. BRAC Uganda Bank will remain true to our core mission of enabling communities, particularly women living in poverty in rural, urban and hard to reach areas so that they can realize their potential,” he said
The transition from a Tier 4 credit only NGO to a Tier 2 CI will allow BRAC to drive more impactful financial inclusion at an even greater scale. “Our clients can now have the confidence and trust of saving at a formal institution, a critical component that ensures resilience for low-income households in times of social or economic shocks”, said Jimmy Adiga, the CEO of BUBL.
As a part of the transformation process, BRAC has partnered with three mission-aligned investors – DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, the German development finance institution, Equator Capital Partners, the experienced fund manager investing in financial inclusion, and Triple Jump, the Dutch impact-focused investment-manager advising the ASN Microkredietpool fund. The equity partners each bring unique value and expertise to BUBL and are excited to join BRAC in providing affordable and responsible financial services to the people of Uganda.
BRAC has hosted day-long events with its staff, partners, clients, regulators and other stakeholders to celebrate this hallmark achievement.
Following the ceremonial opening in the morning by the Prime Minister at the head office branch of the bank, a launch event with the broader community of stakeholders took place at the Victoria Hall of The Kampala Serena Hotel. Haruna Kasolo Kyeyune, the Minister of State for Microfinance and DR Louis Kasekende, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda were present at the event as the Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour, respectively.