FINANCIAL SECTOR

USAID programs work to increase financial inclusion and expand digital financial solutions.

THE CHALLENGE

The financial sector has been decimated over the last couple years. The lack of a sound foundation made the financial sector particularly vulnerable to the dramatic changes that came after the Revolution of Dignity in the winter of 2013. Foreign reserves were dangerously low, a third of the banking sector was put on life support or liquidated, and inflation and a devalued currency cut into the private sector’s ability to function.  The financial sector suffered during the crisis due to weak governance, corruption, and an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine that further strained the national budget. Ukraine’s renewed commitment to an alliance with Europe requires the Government of Ukraine to transform the way its economy produces goods and services. A flourishing financial sector is thus essential for the economy to recover.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVE

Cultivate a financial sector that supports businesses of all sizes with products that serve a wide range of business and citizen needs.

OVERVIEW

USAID programs are working to transform Ukraine’s financial sector into an engine of economic growth by facilitating access to financing for SMEs via bank and non-bank services, increasing confidence in the financial sector, establishing a functioning commodities market to support efficient pricing of agricultural products, and improving the pension system in order to support long-term financing of economic activities while ensuring the financial needs of retirees. USAID projects also seek to increase financial inclusion and expand digital financial solutions.

ONGOING PROGRAMS

Financial Sector Transformation

The goals are to: 1) increase public confidence in the banking system; 2) transform the non-bank financial sector 3) improve access to financing for SMEs; 4) increase financial inclusion through digital finance solutions; and 5) achieve a sustainable pension system.

Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF)

In 1994, USAID created WNISEF, a regional private equity fund for Ukraine and Moldova with $150 million in capital to invest in small- and medium-sized companies. In 2016, USAID re-directed $35 million of WNISEF funding toward promoting economic leadership, local economic development, impact investing, and export promotion. USAID also authorized $35 million for investing in small- and medium-sized enterprises in Ukraine and Moldova. 

International Partnership for Financial Sector Stability (IP-FSS)

Funded under USAID’s Regional Economic Growth project, this activity supports strategic communications to rebuild trust in the financial system.

Development Credit Authority Loan Portfolio Guarantee Program with ProCredit Bank

This guarantee program encourages long-term financing for SMEs in the agriculture and clean energy sectors, and seeks to demonstrate the viability of financing in both sectors. The program provides up to $9.5 million in loans to SMEs over a period of eight years (2015-2023). 

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Financial Sector Programs:

  • Supported critical functions of the National Bank of Ukraine, the Deposit Guarantee Fund, and the Ministry of Finance in crisis communications.
  • Provided rapid response on problem bank resolution, deposit insurance, financial stability, risk-based supervision, crowdfunding, and cashless economy issues.
  • Reviewed over 400 laws and regulations related to the financial sector to eliminate inappropriate terms and adhere to international best practices.
  • Supported dialogue on improved consumer protection in financial services and promoted increased awareness on the newly improved legislation on consumer lending.
  • Completed pension reform scenarios to inform the dialogue on policy reform options.
  • Led efforts to support the adoption of anti-corruption measures in the financial sector.
  • Launched financial awareness for vulnerable population training events – over 1,200 citizens trained to date.
  • Completed major development analyses in the financial sector related to non-bank financial services and cashless economy.

Western NIS Enterprise Fund:

  • Invested $197.4 million in over 118 companies in the region employing about 25,000 people.
  • Provided training to hundreds of local managers.
  • Unlocked a total of $1.54 billion in capital for SMEs.
  • Launched Ukraine’s public e-procurement system ProZorro, which has reduced corruption and allowed more Ukrainian firms to participate, generating nearly $1 billion in budgetary savings.
  • Launched ProZorro.Sales for transparent sale of assets owned by the Deposit Guarantee Fund in Ukraine (based on ProZorro principles of e-tender).
  • Developed a forward-looking national export promotion policy, established the Export Promotion Office and UkraineInvest, and helped over 100-160 companies in 24 foreign trade events, 45 percent of which were women-led.
  • Opened opportunities for youth and new business leaders via grants to study in the EU and USA and the establishment of five Ukrainian Leadership Academies.
  • Launched initiatives for local communities and a low interest loan program for social enterprises. 

Last updated: November 14, 2017

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