Grameen Bank began as a project to deliver credit to poor rural Bangladeshis in 1976. Led by its founding Managing Director, Muhammad Yunus, it steadily developed what it now calls its ‘classic’ microcredit system. Poor villagers joined weekly-meeting groups, took loans from the bank as individuals, and undertook to help each other should they fall into difficulty. Loans were repaid over a year in equal weekly instalments. Members also deposited small amounts into personal and group-owned savings accounts. ‘Classic’ Grameen’s methods grew piecemeal, as lessons were learnt and new ideas emerged. But in 2000, work began on the design of Grameen II, or, more formally, the ‘Grameen Generalised System’. Grameen II consolidates many of the lessons from experience, but goes beyond that by making some fundamental changes. This first note in the series, ‘What is Grameen II?’ introduces the Grameen Bank and the changes it has made recently, known as the ‘Grameen Generalised System’ or ‘Grameen II’.