Regional : Promoting Capacity Building in Financial Institutions in Emerging Countries in South Asia

Nonsovereign Project | 48910-001

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Bracey, Pamela
    Private Sector Operations Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
  • Sector
    • Finance
Project Name Promoting Capacity Building in Financial Institutions in Emerging Countries in South Asia
Project Number 48910-001
Borrower / Company
Country / Economy Regional
Location Regional
Type or Modality of Assistance
TA 8811-REG: REG: Capacity Building for Financial Institutions in South Asia (R-CDTA)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 750,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Finance / Finance sector development

Gender No gender elements
Responsible ADB Department Private Sector Operations Department
Responsible ADB Division Private Sector Financial Institutions Division
Responsible ADB Officer Bracey, Pamela
Project Sponsor(s)
Objectives and Scope Strengthening the financial sector by helping to develop financial institutions, infrastructure, and products and services is a key component of Strategy 2020. Through such initiatives, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) can support inclusive economic growth that is stimulated by private sector investment, which can be a key contributing factor in reducing poverty. Technical assistance (TA) is an important value addition that ADB can provide to leverage its nonsovereign funding, and is a development tool that is used frequently and successfully by bilateral and multilateral development banks in combination with private sector lending. For the financial sector, for instance, TA can be effectively used to help financial institutions develop or test new products; these activities, which financial institutions would not normally undertake, can widen access to finance for underserved customer segments. It can also be used to encourage qualified financial institutions (QFIs) to improve corporate governance or anti-money laundering (AML) standards beyond local requirements.
Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Access to finance remains a major obstacle to private sector development and poverty alleviation. In South Asia, only 33% (2011) of the population had access to the formal financial sector. As of the end of 2013, domestic credit to the private sector as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) equaled 48% in Bangladesh, 44% in Bhutan, 48% in the Maldives, and 31% in Sri Lanka. These domestic credit ratios are considered low when compared to other countries in Asia the ratio is 118% in Malaysia, and 148% in Thailand. In many countries, banking sector assets have grown more slowly than GDP. Moreover, access to credit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other nontraditional sector borrowers are particularly low versus larger, more established borrowers. SME loans make up just 25% of total bank lending across Asia and the Pacific and the use of credit guarantees has helped improve bankability in some countries. The non-bank sector represents an average 0.8% of financial sector assets to GDP in South Asia. There is a need to incorporate nonbank financing options and other schemes into national policies, such as increased use of asset-based finance and capital market instruments. Small businesses lack access to credit from banks and NBFIs, with just 45% accessing lines of credit. Furthermore, the low level of GDP to insurance premiums paid in emerging Asian economies represents the lack of penetration of the insurance market, with insurance premiums equal to just 3% of GDP.

Strengthening and diversifying the financial sectors in ADB DMCs via knowledge transfer and capacity building within banks and nonbanking QFIs is needed to develop more innovative strategies and products tailored to a broader spectrum of borrowers. In addition, corporate governance, AML, and anticorruption efforts need to be strengthened in many QFIs throughout this region. Related party transactions, for instance, are prevalent in Asia and need to be carefully monitored. Risk management practices still do not meet international standards. With the move to Basel III, and as financial systems in South Asia become larger, more complex, and more interconnected, many banks will be in need of capacity development to ensure that adequate risk management systems are in place. Good environmental and social management systems and polices are also needed, and the introduction of such systems will typically require external expertise.

Safeguard Categories
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects FI
Involuntary Resettlement FI
Indigenous Peoples FI
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
Timetable for assistance design, processing and implementation
Concept Clearance -
Credit Committee Meeting -
Approval -
Last PDS Update 01 Apr 2019

TA 8811-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Dec 2014 - 12 Dec 2014 12 Dec 2017 12 Dec 2019 03 Dec 2020
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
750,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 750,000.00 01 Apr 2019 390,659.60

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