The Early Impact of COVID-19 on Financial Institutions

Insights from a survey of IFC financial institution clients

The global COVID-19 pandemic and diminished economic activity that resulted from it had a significant impact on financial institutions around the world in 2020. In order to gauge that impact and identify the areas of financial institutions' operations that felt it most acutely, IFC launched a survey of financial institution clients in October 2020. The survey asked managers to share their assessments of the pandemic's impact primarily along four dimensions: operations, strategic direction, funding, and loan portfolio.

This note summarizes key findings extracted from the responses of 149 clients across 65 emerging markets, representing approximately 30 percent of IFC's outstanding portfolio in long-term finance to financial institutions.

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