Credit cooperatives are the main providers of microfinance in Brazil. Commercial banks, NGOs, and non-bank financial institutions (such as microcredit societies (SCMs)) provide much of the remaining microfinance, but large segments of Brazilian society still do not have access to microfinance lending. A wide network of banking agents (also referred to as correspondents) exists and facilitates account opening, bank transfers, and loan disbursement.
The National Monetary Council is the main body issuing regulation, while the Central Bank of Brazil plays a supervisory role. In regard to credit cooperatives, the Central Bank monitors the capacity of central credit cooperatives that supervise their affiliate cooperatives.