Scotiabank Costa Rica SME and Housing Loan (IFC-38424)

  • Costa Rica
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Financial Institutions
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Oct 26, 2016
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Finance
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 75.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ IFC website

Updated in EWS Jul 24, 2018

Disclosed by Bank Sep 2, 2016

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Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

The project consists of a loan of up to US$75 million to Scotiabank de Costa Rica S.A. for on-lending to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and low and middle income mortgages. The project seeks to support increased banking penetration and access to financial services for businesses and individuals in Costa Rica, generate employment, and provide increased access to housing.

Scotiabank CR's main focus of its operations are in the real estate and wholesale and retail segments, combined for approximately 40%. MSME lending under the asset class supported accounts for approximately 11% of the total portfolio. The overall portfolio risks includes a limited number of business activities that have potential limited adverse environmental or social risks or impacts that are few in number, generally site specific, largely reversible, and readily addressed through mitigation measures. The project has been categorized as FI-2 in accordance with IFC’s Sustainability Policy. For this project Scotiabank CR will be required to screen the loans against the IFC Exclusion List and the Costa Rican environmental and social laws and regulations.

Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

The proposed investment consists of a credit line for up to $75 million, intended to be used for SME’s and housing.

Scotiabank de Costa Rica is a 100% owned subsidiary of Grupo BNS de Costa Rica SA. Grupo BNS de Costa Rica SA is in turn 80.2% owned by BNS International SA (Panama) and 19.7% owned by Corporacion Mercaban de Costa Rica, both of which are wholly owned subsidiaries of The Bank of Nova Scotia, a publicly listed company in Canada.

Financial Intermediary
A financial intermediary is a bank or financial institution that receives funds from a development bank. A financial intermediary then lends these funds to their clients (private actors) in the form of loans, bonds, guarantees and equity shares. Financial intermediaries include insurance, pension and equity funds. The direct financial relationship is between the development bank and the financial intermediary.
Private Actors Description
A Private Actor is a non-governmental body or entity that is the borrower or client of a development project, which can include corporations, private equity and banks. This describes the private actors and their roles in relation to the project, when private actor information is disclosed or has been further researched.

The Bank is a 100% owned subsidiary of Grupo BNS de Costa Rica SA. Grupo BNS de Costa Rica SA is in turn 80.2% owned by BNS International SA (Panama) and 19.7% owned by Corporacion Mercaban de Costa Rica, both of which are wholly owned subsidiaries of The Bank of Nova Scotia, a publicly listed company in Canada.

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.

Ignacio Vargas F.
Sr Manager – Liquidity & Funding
Tel: (506) 2210 4131
Sabana Norte, Apdo 5395 - 100
San Jose, Costa Rica
Scotiabank de Costa Rica S.A.


The Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by an IFC or MIGA- financed project. If you submit a complaint to the CAO, they may assist you in resolving a dispute with the company and/or investigate to assess whether the IFC is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. If you want to submit a complaint electronically, you can email the CAO at You can learn more about the CAO and how to file a complaint at

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