In late November 2014, Finamérica received approval from the Financial Superintendence of Colombia to transition into a commercial bank. As part of this shift, it rebranded and adopted the name Banco Compartir Colombia (Bancompartir).
Before it was known as Finamérica, Bancompartir was known as Finansol. Finansol was created in 1993 by the nonprofit foundation with which Accion partnered to launch microcredit in Bogota in 1988. In 1996, a severe erosion of Finansol's portfolio led Accion to spearhead a U.S. $9 million recapitalization plan. Since that time, and despite a difficult economic environment in Colombia characterized by frequent bank failures, Finansol regained its footing. Re-christened as Finamérica in 1998, the institution is financially solid and growing.
Accion and Bancompartir have worked together to strengthen Bancompartir’s credit methodology and the product and services portfolio. This collaboration has also allowed Bancompartir to develop new a microsavings product and has helped the institution to improve its overall financial health.
Accion and Bancompartir have developed a rural finance program aimed to cast the net of financial services out into the rural areas of Latin America. Supported in part by the Inter-American Development Bank, the project spans five countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with the goal of reaching hundreds of thousands new clients. In partnership with Accion, Bancompartir is also one of three microfinance institutions in Latin America that are piloting new ways to offer savings accounts to low-income microentrepreneurs. The project was made possible by the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2012, Accion (in partnership with Bancompartir) launched Avanza, an innovative new service that aims to make the microfinance lending process easier and more efficient for everyone involved. Avanza uses mobile teams of loan officers and a risk-adjusted approach to reach, enroll, and process loan applications from new and existing clients. The program has already reduced the disbursement time from the average five days to as little as 24 hours.