Three banks joined the GABV today signaling the increasing importance of values-based banks

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of the world’s leading values-based banks welcomes three new members, all from North America today; Canada’s Affinity Credit Union, Florida’s environmental pioneers, First Green Bank , and community-development focused and Minneapolis-based, Sunrise Community Banks. The network believes the success of its growing membership highlights how a brand of banking that balances people, planet and prosperity is becoming increasingly relevant to the future of the financial industry.

“It is a great pleasure to announce that these three groundbreaking financial institutions are joining the GABV,” said Peter Blom, GABV Chair and CEO of European sustainable bank, Triodos Bank. “First Green, Affinity and Sunrise Community Banks are the latest progressive financial institutions to join our expanding network of independent banks. The success of banks like these is increasingly at the heart of the urgent debate about how to build a resilient financial industry capable of serving all of our long-term interests.”

The GABV believes that sustainable banks have built a compelling business in recent years. The GABV recently released a report comparing the financial performance of sustainable banks, like these, and the world’s Globally Systemically Important Financial Institutions between 2007 and 2010. The results showed values-based banks outperformed some of the biggest names in banking, in almost every measure.

While none of its members are immune from the economic downturn, the GABV’s new members are typical of these success stories. Florida’s First Green Bank, for example, has pioneered a positive environmental and social approach in a traditional community bank. “There is a real and urgent need for a values-based banking model that finances entrepreneurs who build their enterprises, create job growth and support communities. It’s inspiring to know that there is a growing movement of banks heading in the same direction and offering a genuine alternative to today’s dominant banking models,” said Ken LaRoe, CEO at First Green.

Affinity Credit Union, who become the GABV’s third Canadian member, provide financial services to over 95,000 members through a network of 44 branches in 36 communities across the province of Saskatchewan and share this wider agenda. “We work with our members in their communities to create positive economic and social changes,” said Affinity Credit Union CEO, George Keter. “We look forward to contributing to the growth of the worldwide sustainable banking movement in Canada and around the world.”

Family-owned, and comprising three locally managed banks, Sunrise Community Banks aims to be a leader in improving the urban community. CEO, David Reiling, believes the bank’s local focus has important implications for global banking. “While we serve communities in the neglected inner cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, our colleagues in many countries around the world are doing much the same thing. The context in Bangladesh, Vancouver or Germany may be very different, but the values that underpin our work are much the same. This is a hugely important movement for a world in need of credible new approach to finance.”


Contact:

James Niven Tina Merrifield
GABV Affinity Credit Union
E james.niven@gabv.org E tina.merrifield@affinitycu.ca
T +31 30 694 2421, +31 6 5390 8150 T +1 306 934 4083, +1 306 221 9109
   
Larry Vershel Nikki Foster
First Green Bank Sunrise Community Banks
E Lvershelco@aol.com E nikki.foster@sunrisebanks.com
T +1 407 644 4142, +1 407 461 3780 T +1 651 259 2221, +1 612 387 8466


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