e+i Financial Sector Development

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​SDC's approach

Financial sector development aims at creating sustainable access to financial services (savings, insurance, money transfer and credit) for broad sections of the population, who have so far enjoyed only limited or no access to such services.

SDC supports financial sector development in selected partner countries to promote income and employment, as well as fostering asset building by poor households, individuals (notably women), small farms and enterprises by means of reliable and sustainable access to demand-oriented financial services. SDC’s support aims at maximum depth and breath of outreach by strengthening financial sector at four levels:

  • Demand side: helping SDC’s target groups to strengthen their financial literacy, and thus their bargaining position, to promote the effective use of savings and credit services and to facilitate access to formal financial services.
  • Supply side: supporting financial institutions to sustainably and cost-effectively expand their range of services for SDC’s target groups, and significantly improve the breadth and depth of such services.
  • Financial market infrastructure: supporting networks and associations of financial institutions, educational institutions, rating agencies, credit bureaus, auditors, IT-providers and others in order to strengthen the financial sector.
  • Framework conditions and supervision: supporting legislative, regulatory and supervisory institutions where framework conditions impede the positive development of the financial sector.

SDC's approach is summarised in the Policy for Financial Sector Development:

  Policy for Financial Sector Development - Update 2007
SDC's financial sector policy describes the strategic orientation, operational principles and instruments of SDC's activities in financial sector development. A must for everybody working in an SDC financial sector project!


SDC is collaborating with many Swiss organisations in FSD, notably in PPDPs with the Swiss financial sector (see also  "SCBF")​. The below study provides an overview of the global role Swiss investment managers and advisers play in microfinance investments. It provides also a brief overview of other Swiss microfinance activities in chapter 2.3,

Swiss Microfinance Investments: From Early Growth Stage to Maturity. History, Current Developments and New Challenges

January 2012
Author: Symbiotics Research & Advisory S.A.
The study was co-funded by Symbiotics and SDC. The idea for this study emerged from the 2011 annual policy dialogue of Swiss microfinance practitioners with the director of SDC, Ambassador Martin Dahinden, to better understand the role the Swiss private sector plays in expanding responsible financial services to poor households and small businesses in developing and emerging countries in the South and East.


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