Bancomunales in Costa Rica
     
  The case of Bancomunales in Costa Rica is a pioneer experience in the framework of non-conventional rural finance programs in Latin America. Bancomunales are microfinance institutions, following the Village Banking methodology and characterized by the direct involvement of local community in their management and administration. In Costa Rica the first Bancomunal was establishment in 1984 and from then on their number has continuously increased in rural regions. This case represents a very valuable lesson in terms of both methodology development and magnitude of results achieved.

Bancomunales have a long tradition in providing financial services for small peasants in Costa Rica, but access to these services have diminished in the last twenty years. Future perspectives of Bancomunales relate to the adoption of methodological and institutional changes, such as, for example, the formation of a national federation, in order both to compensate the problems due to the small dimension of each unit and to improve institutional and financial sustainability. International development cooperation agencies should take the leadership in promoting these changes.


Source: Abstracted from Mario Zappacosta, "Non-conventional rural finance: the case of Bancomunales in Costa Rica."
 
  Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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