We want to share the real stories of sustainable banking, by showcasing the impact of our member banks here. Because behind every bank there are thousands of stories of people using money positively to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities wherever they are in the world.
The case studies you can view here offer a peek inside the window of some of the world’s most groundbreaking and progressive banks and their clients. But it is only a glimpse. Each bank has a wealth of stories and experiences that they actively share with their customers and the world. It’s a level of transparency that is not generally associated with the financial sector.
The banks featured here share a profoundly different perspective on how banking can, and should, work. For them, finance starts with meeting human needs in an environmentally-responsible way and as a means to that end, finishes with profitable banks delivering them.
Whilst there are differences in the business models of the GABV’s member banks, they are all unified by a core set of principles and a belief that a bank’s role, first and foremost, is to serve the needs of people. By practising a contemporary form of traditional banking, rooted in local economies and focused on expert understanding of sustainability sectors, these banks and their clients are laying a path to a new type of economy.
Each bank represents an inspiring example of what a transformed banking sector could really look like. And each of their case studies offers an insight into their impact on their clients – the entrepreneurs and catalysts of this new economy – on the sectors they work in, and on wider society.
The following pages are a selection of stories about entrepreneurs working with their bankers. And while the term ‘banker’ has become almost toxic in the wake of the financial crisis, these bankers are justifiably proud of what they have achieved for society rather than for themselves. They show just what can be done when money is used positively, when the creativity of entrepreneurs is unlocked and when banks are run on a deeply embedded set of principles and values, based on mutual care and respect.
These inspiring stories are also told through an exhibition, first shown, at the GABV’s fifth annual meeting, in Berlin in 2013. The exhibition was accompanied with a book, Change Makers – The Stories Behind the Values Based Banks Transforming the World, which you can view here.