Sustainable Banking’s key Network announces three new members, from Latin America, Asia and Europe
The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of the world’s leading sustainable banks welcomes three new members today; Paraguayan microfinance bank, Vision Banco, Nepalese renewable energy specialists, Clean Energy Development Bank, and UK-based sustainable building experts, the Ecology Building Society.
The GABV now numbers 25 of the world’s most progressive financial institutions, with combined balance sheet assets of over US$ 68 billion and almost US$15 billion of additional assets under management. In March of this year the group launched a Berlin Declaration calling for a transition to a more inclusive banking industry that serves the real economy. In particular they want banks to become more transparent focusing on sustainability in a diverse banking landscape.
‘The three new members of the GABV epitomise the positive potential of a more diverse banking industry,’ says Peter Blom, GABV Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of European sustainable bank, Triodos Bank. ‘These banks have different specialist expertise in sectors and regions, they understand their local economies and sectors, and are building long-term, resilient economic growth. Their financial strength and growing impact provides yet more evidence that sustainable banking works and can become an important reference for a more resilient banking industry that serves people first.’
The GABV’s newest members are part of a growing movement of banks, most of whom have performed well before, during and since the worst excesses of the financial crisis. ‘What we do matters,’ says Beltrán Macchi Salin, CEO of Vision Banco. ‘For over 20 years we have provided finance for entrepreneurs across Paraguay, helping to build a more inclusive financial system for hundreds of thousands of ordinary Paraguayans. By working with other banks that share our focus on improving people’s quality of life, we plan to extend the impact of our activity further and faster.’
‘Focusing on sustainable outcomes is good for communities, the environment, the generations that are yet to come, and the long-term strength of our institution,’ says Clean Energy Development Bank’s General Manager, Barsha Shrestha. ‘We believe banking is about more than just profits. Because we have a singular focus on creating an energy efficient future that connects and empowers are customers, we’ve been able to become the leading bank in promoting renewable and sustainable energy projects especially hydropower, solar, and biomass projects in Nepal. We are more concerned about mobilizing banking resources to strengthen the real economy and we have been the first private sector bank in Nepal to promote woman entrepreneurs. We want to share our learning and benefit from the experience of others who have already faced similar issues, in different contexts.’
Member-owned Ecology Building Society also has an environmental focus, but on another continent and in another market. ‘We provide different solutions to similar problems,’ says CEO, Paul Ellis. ‘We provide mortgages across the UK for environmentally-positive properties and projects. While the context is different, our values are aligned with our colleagues in Asia, and elsewhere in the world. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to both share our experience and learn by engaging with colleagues from the world’s most progressive financial institutions.’
For more information on the GABV, visit test.gabv.org.
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