ACCION Establishes Partnership with India’s YES BANK to Launch YES MICROFINANCE INDIA

Mumbai, India / Boston, MA,  December 08, 2006 –Microfinance pioneer ACCION® International today announced a strategic partnership with YES BANK – one of India’s top-three, private-sector banks – to launch YES MICROFINANCE INDIA, a specialized division of YES BANK focused on developing tailored financial products for underprivileged Indians in both urban and rural areas.

ACCION will provide technical assistance to YES MICROFINANCE INDIA, supporting YES BANK’s commitments to mainstream sustainability principles within the Indian financial community, follow the ‘Responsible Banking’ philosophy, and enable financial inclusion in India.

Specifically, ACCION will assist YES BANK in the development of best-in-class microfinance products and processes – from credit and savings to insurance and remittance products – as well as innovative delivery channels, superior rating methodologies and state-of-the art technology architecture.  ACCION’s goal is to help establish YES MICROFINANCE INDIA as a world-class microfinance operation.

“Over the last 10 years, ACCION has worked with commercial banks in several countries to help them initiate large-scale and commercially viable microfinance programs that reach some of the most marginalized people in the world,” said María Otero, president and CEO of ACCION.  “We’re proud to announce this strategic partnership with YES BANK, one of the most successful commercial banks in India, as we work toward providing financial access to millions more working poor in the country.”

Mr. Rana Kapoor, founder, managing director and CEO of  YES BANK, added, “As a Public Trust Institution, YES BANK is cognizant of its responsibility of abetting the creation of an inclusive financial sector and sees microfinance as an efficient and commercially viable tool to achieve this goal.  Through YES MICROFINANCE INDIA, the Bank aims to augment sustainable livelihoods and enable socio-economic development at the grassroots level.”

About ACCION International
ACCION International is a private, nonprofit organization with the mission of giving people the financial tools they need – microenterprise loans, business training, and other financial services – to work their way out of poverty.  A world pioneer in microfinance, ACCION was founded in 1961 and issued its first microloan in 1973 in Brazil.  ACCION International’s partner microfinance institutions today are providing loans as low as $100 to poor women and men entrepreneurs in 22 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, and in the U.S.  In the last decade alone, ACCION partners have disbursed more than 14 million loans totaling more than $9.4 billion; 97 percent of the loans have been repaid.  Selected for the fourth consecutive year for its pioneering approaches to poverty alleviation, ACCION is among 43 organizations awarded the 2007 Social Capitalist Award byFast Companymagazine, and has been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest rating – four stars – for efficiency and sound fiscal management.  For more information,  ACCION established operations in India in 2006.  ACCION Technical Advisors India, with offices in Bangalore, is registered under Section 25 of the Indian Companies Act.

YES BANK, India’s new–age, private-sector bank, is the outcome of the professional commitment of its promoters, Rana Kapoor and Ashok Kapur, to establish a high-quality, customer-centric, service-driven, private Indian Bank catering to “Emerging India.”   YES BANK offers comprehensive banking and financial solutions to all its valued customers.  A key strength and differentiating feature of YES BANK is its knowledge-driven approach to banking and an unprecedented customer experience for its retail and wealth management clients.   YES BANK is steadily building corporate and institutional banking, financial markets, investment banking, business and transactional banking, retail and private banking business lines across the country.  The Bank’s constant endeavor is to provide a delightful banking experience expressed with simplicity, empathy and totality.

About the Unitus-ACCION Alliance for India
In 2005, Unitus and ACCION created the Unitus-ACCION Alliance for India. This strategic partnership, thought to be the first of its kind, is designed to catalyze the creation of a large-scale and profitable microfinance industry in India. The alliance has established as its goal the delivery of microfinance services to 15 million of India’s under-privileged by 2015.

ACCION® is a registered trademark of ACCION International.

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Media Contacts:
Bruce MacDonald
VP, Communications
ACCION International
Tel. +1 617 616 1546

Nikita Suratwala
Tel.  + 91 22 6669 9153
Fax  + 91 22 2490 0314

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