The GABV’s response to COVID-19
Humanity faces enormous existential threats. Climate change, poverty and social exclusion are everyday realities for billions of people, and while COVID-19 is but a symptom of larger challenges, its effects are acute and threaten lives and livelihoods. In order to respond, we are required to act in socially and economically disruptive ways. Yet can we do this in ways that reinforce our humanity and sense of community? As values-based financial institutions, we are reminded that every action we take involving humans and money must adhere to an ancient social contract – Duty of Care:
“Following a standard of reasonable care while performing acts that could foreseeably harm others.”
The GABV’s bankers make a difference for nearly half a billion people every day. Their immediate actions in the face of COVID-19 are a testament to the responsiveness and resilience of their movement’s banking principles.
So, when GABV banks face exceptional environmental, social and economic disruptions, they draw deeply on their values to respond quickly to the challenges their communities face. Among the values-based bankers, there is a long experience in crisis support and public health, in countries like Nepal, Ecuador and Bangladesh. NMB Bank in Nepal and Banco Solidario in Ecuador are on the front line of financial and humanitarian support after earthquakes. BRAC Bank and its foundation are responding daily to the need for livelihoods and schooling in the midst of yearly flooding and massive inward migration. The time has come to take a good look at how values-based banks in different parts of the world respond to crises while building resilient business models. The first thing one notices is that these banks do not see a separation between a financial, human or environmental crisis. The solutions they provide are often integrated and respond to the underlying conditions of the crisis. Secondly, they have to deal with the current realities of people who urgently need support for their lives and livelihoods most of the time. They are often uniquely placed to do so.
Read a comprehensive summary of the best practices that GABV members have developed in response to the coronavirus from the GABV’s members.
COVID-19 related news/articles covered by our members
- Response and responsibility: Banks and the fight against Covid-19
- Distance Economy Design Concept by Dr Vasily Vysokov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Center-invest Bank
- How the Covid-19 Crisis turned one CEO into Counselor in Chief
- Triodos Bank CEO Peter Blom has written a letter to members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values.
- Thomas Jorberg, CEO of GLS Bank on the corona crisis: health before global economy (in German)
- ESG rating “linked to outperformance” amidst coronavirus pandemic
- ‘Reset the economy, find a new balance between social, ecological and economic values’ by Kees Vendrik, Chief Economist Triodos Bank
- Southern Bancorp’s CEO Darrin Williams weighs in on “Trump asking Congress for more small business funds if money runs out” on Fox News
- Triodos Bank proposes concrete agenda for resilient and inclusive recovery
- A Viral Response to COVID-19: Mobilizing Values-based Financial Institutions to rapidly distribute financial and health best practices around the world
- Community banks a model for resilient banking
- Banking through the crisis — The experience of Banca Etica, Italy — 26 March 2020
- Navigating prudential regulation during COVID-19 – The experience of Triodos Bank, The Netherlands — 9 April 2020
- Banca en valores en tiempos de crisis – El caso peruano — Caja Arequipa, Peru — 4 May 2020
- BRAC’s approach to the COVID-19 crisis – Bangladesh – 29 May 2020
- Merkur’s approach to the COVID-19 crisis – Denmark – 2 June 2020
The Bright Side – Uplifting videos messages from the GABV and members
Our members have been working hard towards serving their clients during these difficult times. Here is a list of initiatives and campaigns our members have taken during the last quarter.
Featured image by August de Richelieu