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Monday, December 09, 2002

The Grameen Bank (the original microcredit bank) has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation and creativity.

The Grameen Bank provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh, without any collateral and is a cost effective weapon to fight poverty + one that serves as a catalyst in the over all development of socio-economic conditions for the poor who are frequently excluded from mainstream banking services.

Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of the "Grameen Bank" and its Managing Director, reasoned that if financial resources can be made available to the poor people on terms and conditions that are appropriate and reasonable, "these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder."

Today, the Grameen Bank has over 2.4 million borrowers (95% of whom are women), 1,175 branches, services in 41,000 villages with more than 60% of all Bangladeshi villages covered.

Grameen Bank's positive impact on its poor and formerly poor borrowers has been documented in many independent studies carried out by external agencies including the World Bank, the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI) and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).