The Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) is a public-private development partnership (PPDP) established in April 2011 to assist financial institutions such as insurance companies, microfinance banks, and savings and commercial banks, in significantly scaling up their outreach to poor people in developing countries. In January 2013, the SCBF initiative has been formally transformed into a non-profit association, registered in Fribourg, Switzerland.
Credit Suisse, Financial Systems Development Services (FIDES), Swisscontact, swiss microfinance holding, Zurich Insurance Company and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) have initiated the SCBF based on their longstanding participation in financial sector development, around the world. These organisations were later joined by Allianz SE Reinsurance (Zurich), Bamboo Finance, BlueOrchard, Business & Finance Consulting (BFC), e-savings.club, KiWi, Opportunity International, responsAbility, Stonestep, Swiss Re, Symbiotics, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, and Venture South.
SCBF addresses the two key constraints faced by its Partner Financial Institutions in expanding their outreach:
- Developing and retaining skilled and dedicated management and staff; and
- Mobilizing funding from investors in order to maintain and grow their institutions.
The SCBF focusses on interventions with a clear social mission to serve women and rural areas, smallholder farmers, micro enterprises and small enterprises (SMEs).
Increasing access to financial services to these segments of the population will empower poor households allowing them to strengthen their economic potential, build up physical and financial assets, protecting their families through better housing, health and education, and improving resilience to economic hardships.
All projects and partners are selected according to specific criteria set out by the SCBF including a focus on good governance and adherence to client protection principles as outlined in the Smart Campaign.