VANCOUVER, BC (Feb. 28, 2012) - The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of 14 of the world’s leading values-based banks, will showcase the growing worldwide sustainable banking movement in Vancouver, March 8-10, at its annual conference hosted by GABV member Vancity Credit Union.

The GABV has pledged to impact the lives of one billion people by 2020 by offering a credible alternative to the current financial system and dominant banking model that have alienated so many during the financial crisis.

Although each GABV bank is unique, they share a commitment to using money to benefit people and the environment. They make business decisions, first, by identifying a human need, and then by determining how to fulfill that need on a financially sustainable basis.

“There is an urgent need for banks that finance entrepreneurs working in the real economy who create lasting solutions for people and the environment,” said Peter Blom, GABV Chair and CEO of European sustainable bank, Triodos. “Values-based banks offer a credible, positive alternative to mainstream banking, and we’re delighted to bring some of the world’s most groundbreaking banks to Vancouver to build on this worldwide movement.”

The international conference will be hosted by Vancouver-based Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, which has a 65-year history of focusing on community needs. In 2011, Vancity was the first Canadian banking institution invited to join the GABV, which has members from Europe, Asia, and South and North America.

“We’re pleased to be hosting this year’s conference, which will bring together some of the most innovative and socially responsible banks in the world,” said Vancity CEO Tamara Vrooman. “Like Vancity, members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values recognize that we are all economically interdependent, that we must listen to the people we serve, and that banks can play a key role in improving the quality of life for current and future generations.”

The conference will include two public events on March 8th. The first is a luncheon at the Pan Pacific Hotel (12 Noon – 1:30 pm), entitled Banking on changing the world: people, prosperity and a new perspective (The Business Case for Values-Based Banking). Sponsored by Deloitte and presented by the Business Council of British Columbia, the luncheon panel will feature Peter Blom, Tamara Vrooman, Luis Felipe Derteano, Chairman, Grupo ACP (Peru) and Rumee Ali, CEO of BRAC Bank in Bangladesh. To order tickets for the luncheon, contact georgel@pacegroup.com.

The other public event is a public dialogue on sustainable banking entitled Values-Based Banking: Financing the Future of a Changing World. Held at Vancouver’s The Centre for Performing Arts (7:00pm – 8:30pm), the event will feature: Naomi Klein, in one of her few public speaking engagements for 2012; Stewart Wallis, executive director of the UK-based New Economics Foundation, Tamara Vrooman and Peter Blom. To register for this free public event, which is presented by Vancity and sponsored by KPMG, visit http://valuesbasedbanking.eventbrite.ca.

For more information on Vancity, visit www.vancity.com.

Media contacts:

Lorraine Wilson (Vancity), 778-837-0394, or e-mail mediarelations@vancity.com

James Niven (GABV): +31 30 694 2421, mobile +31 (0)6 539 08150 or e-mailjames.niven@gabv.org

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