Our timeline to becoming a worldwide network of values-based finance organisations


20th century

Several values-based finance organisations are created worldwide, from diverse perspectives and models, with the focus to produce a positive impact on the people and the planet. The cultural change of the 1960s inspires many and the 1970’s, when social organisations and citizens start to notice that, while they are advocating for the advancement of civil rights and to preserve the environment, their money at the bank is frequently fostering pollution, discrimination, or violence, financing unfair and unsustainable business or the production of weapons.


Conversations between social, environmental, and culturally conscious banks and cooperatives worldwide start to be less rare. Awareness about commonalities and the need for a global movement that fosters a more humane economy.


The global financial crisis provokes a general questioning of the economic system, as it dramatically boosts inequality. Criticism targets the dominant international financial system and the role of banks, which many perceive as creators of a negative impact on people’s lives.


Seeking to support the values-based banking model as an alternative to the mainstream banking model that led to the financial crisis, 10 pioneer banks founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV).


Development of the Values Ambassadors program of the GABV, which paves the way to our Leadership Academy. This initiative promotes the dissemination of values-based finance practices and exchanging ideas among the current and future generations of bankers in the five continents.


Launch of the first edition of Real Economy – Real Returns. The Business Case for Values-based Banking. This yearly report lays the first stone to prove through specific metrics the social value and economic viability of the values-based banking model compared to mainstream banking. It also represents the starting point of GABV’s research activities.


Signature of the Berlin Declaration of the GABV. It is the first time that the Alliance members communicate to the banking industry, policymakers, and regulators a common view to drive a fundamental banking paradigm shift through the values of transparency, sustainability, diversity.


First Banking on Values Day, an initiative that raises general awareness about this banking model as a sound alternative for the people and the planet all around the world. With co-workers and customers of the GABV members at its center, this yearly celebration highlights what every individual can do to transform finance and improve people’s lives.


Launch of the GABV’s Scorecard, a set of common impact metrics, which allows reporting the social impact through a harmonised method. Created with the participation of members of the Alliance, it keeps being developed as a tool to reflect reality and to inspire change.


Start of the Real Economies investment fund (SFRE, pronounced Sapphire). Thus, the GABV and its members also facilitate the availability of financial capital to grow values-based banking initiatives and go beyond its advocacy, academics, metrics, and training programmes.


Through the Kathmandu Pledge, the Alliance members add greater specificity to their common vision. Values-based banking should foster a long-term positive social impact and act like a local, regional, and global leader to renew the whole banking system.


Publishing of New pathways: Building blocks for a sustainable finance future in Europe, a white paper on financial sector reforms to guarantee that it positively impacts society and increases its resilience and prevents new financial crisis. The purpose of this collaborative effort of the GABV, Finance Watch, and Mission 2020 was to serve as input for the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance of the European Commission. It represents the most specific roadmap drafted by the GABV to change the financial system.


For the first time in Europe, a law recognises ethical finance after the Italian Parliament passed legislation to identify this model and promote it because of its social contribution.


GABV passes a 50-member milestone as it approaches its 10th anniversary. This achievement strengthens this worldwide movement for values-based banking and promotes relevant transformations in finance and the economy.


Commitment to disclose the climate impact from the portfolio of loans and investments of the Alliance members. In line with the Paris Agreement, the GABV becomes a driving force towards true transparency and commitment to combat climate change in the financial sector.


A consortium of European values-based banks invests directly in one of their own, Opportunity Bank Serbia. This landmark transaction opens a new chapter of deeper collaboration in the movement.