We have just left behind a busy second quarter with plenty of activity.
Two new supporting partners committed their support to the GABV in Q2 2019: Finance Watch, doing great work as an independent third party to push for a more transparent and sustainable financial system in Europe. And Opportunity International, who empower 10 million families in 23 countries to escape poverty, by supporting local microfinance activities. Opportunity International is the main shareholder of our member bank, Opportunity Bank Serbia. We hope that other Opportunity banks will join our family soon.
We continue to expand membership in the Asia-Pacific region. We welcome North East Small Finance Bank (NESFB), and its CEO, Ms Rupali Kalita. This bank works closely with the most deprived section of society in the north-east state of Assam in India.
Today, with the new members and partners, the GABV family officially consists of 55 full members, one associate banks and 13 supporting partners. We have members and / or associate banks in all regions of the world with two banks in Africa, 12 banks in North America, 12 banks in Latin America, 17 banks in Europe and 13 banks in the Asia-Pacific region. But we know that the family is much bigger. Many stakeholders and GABV friends cooperate with us daily to achieve a healthier financial system, and we continue to discuss joining the GABV with potential members all over the world. We are certain that the GABV family will keep on growing.
There is progress with the University of Exeter’s research on new regulatory practices inspired by values-based banking. Forty-two of our banks have been involved in the research process. We expect to have a white paper ready by end of the year. Our members in Latin America are examining their financial intermediation activities and processes through a gender entrepreneurship lens. Co-funded by FMO and the GABV, this member-led study will be carried out by our supporting partner Fundación Avina. Work has already started to expand the influential Real Economy – Real Returns annual research. St. Gallen’s in Switzerland is conducting the analysis. In addition, a lot of effort has been dedicated to the 3C commitment, now a global initiative involving more than 50 financial institutions around the world.
And, last but not least, we have finalised the publication of a booklet with the outcomes of our Annual Meeting in Vancouver and of a film with the most relevant moments along with the main conclusions.
Other activities during the second quarter of the year include virtual meetings of different Communities of Practices, preparations for the second module of the Leadership Academy in Berlin, preparations for a one day public event in Lagos on 7 November, hosted by our member LAPO Microfinance Bank, on Enhancing Sustainable Finance in the Microfinance Sector, bilateral member exchanges, initial preparations for our 2020 anniversary meeting in Bern and contacts with media, supporting partners and other stakeholders. There is so much going on that we can’t mention here, so I recommend that you read our more extensive quarterly eZine and check the news at www.gabv.org from time to time.
July to September will be a busy time as usual, and we will share all the news in our October quarterly letter.
Let’s continue banking for a better world!
Dr. Marcos Eguiguren
GABV Executive Director