[SEOUL=Whowired] January 30, 2012 -- Citibank Korea (CEO Yung-Ku Ha, www.citibank.co.kr) pledged to sponsor Korea Microcredit Joyful Union (Executive Director Myeong-Kee Chung, www.joyfulunion.or.kr) at the “CKI-Joyful Union Microcredit Business Sponsorship Signing Ceremony” that was held at 9th Fl. Meeting Room, Citibank Korea HQ Bldg., Jan. 30, 2012. The ceremony started with the Union’s presentation on the result of CKI-sponsored projects, which was followed by CKI’s donation of KRW 104 million (USD 100,000) and photo op session.With the fund given last year, Joyful Union developed a “socially responsible investment” product, a mixture of investment and donation, to launch a loan business for supporting the livelihood of low income families for the first time in the country. It has also established a system where retired financial experts provide post management and business consulting services through pro bono activities. Together with this, CKI sponsored the union’s participation in the European Microfinance Network (EMN) training sessions in an effort to develop a microcredit model that fits Korea and meets global standards at the same time. The executives and employees of the global bank offered the microfinance institution technological and advisory services about how to develop a repayment management system and how to manage repayment rate by sharing their talents and expertise.The fund provided by CKI this time will be used for monitoring borrowers and offering business consulting to the loan takers to improve the repayment rate, the institution’s having chances to participate in expertise development seminars and training programs, and for publicizing its activities.Citi has been one of the largest sponsors for microfinance, supporting microfinance businesses across 60 countries for over 30 years. Citibank Korea first introduced microcredit business in Korea by helping Joyful Union participate in Grameen Trust Training in 1999, and its support has continued in the form of funding the Union’s operating expenses. CKI’s continued support has produced tangible results such as “Microcredit Symposium” in 2005, and presentation on the Korean Microcredit Model in 2010 based on its project on Korean Microcredit Model Development that lasted 3 years from 2007-2009. CKI continues to provide comprehensive support through funding and consulting on operation and infrastructure of the Union.
News Source: Citibank Korea Inc.