Group 2

vdk bank and Australian Mutual Bank join the Global Alliance for Banking on Values

GABV

31 May 2022

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values has welcomed two new members to the network: vdk bank, based in Ghent, Belgium, and Australian Mutual Bank, which operates in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

The GABV’s ever-growing network has now reached a total of 67 members from 44 countries that share a common goal to transform finance for good.

Martin Rohner, Executive Director of the GABV: “I am delighted to welcome full member vdk bank and associate member Australian Mutual Bank to our global movement. Historical foundation of vdk bank in the Belgian trade union movement has resulted in a strong people centered business model that adds to the diversity and strength of values-based banking in Europe. And Australian Mutual’s strong commitment to ethical business practices and cooperative banking principles has been an important driver for its membership in the GABV, reinforcing our presence in the Asia Pacific region.”

vdk bank started in 1926 as a savings bank for Ghent workers, who at the time could not turn to commercial banks. Today, vdk bank is an independent and sustainable ethical bank, that serves more than 142,000 people, alongside government institutions, companies, and non-profit organisations. The bank’s head office is found in Ghent. As an ethical sustainable bank, vdk bank finds its values in the importance of sustainable relationships with its partners and a wider network. The bank today invests in several community health centers and other social projects in Belgium, in hopes of bringing positive change to local communities. Furthermore, they have been the shirt sponsor of KAA Gent football club since 1988.

Leen Van den Neste, CEO vdk bank: “Ethical banking is completely woven into our DNA. vdk bank was founded 95 years ago by the Christian trade union as a savings bank for Ghent workers who could not go to commercial banks. Today, vdk bank is a full-service bank for everyone, which takes social inclusion, human and labour rights and the protection of climate and nature into account in everything it does. It is with great conviction that we become the first Belgian bank to be a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. By working closely with other ethical banks, we can learn a lot about ourselves. And together we are strengthening the practice of ethical banking around the world.”

Australian Mutual Bank is a community-based banking organisation that values its members and puts their interests first, providing quality banking, loan, and investment services to the community since 1953. The bank was formed as a result of a 2019 merger between Sydney Credit Union and Endeavour Mutual Bank. They are an Approved Deposit-taking Institution that is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority under the Banking Act. The bank has seven branches, alongside two head offices in Surry Hills and Blacktown.

Mark Worthington, CEO of Australian Mutual Bank: “At Australian Mutual Bank, we recognise the importance of participating in international networks that align closely to our values, in order to share strategies with other values-based financial institutions around the world and learn from their initiatives at the same time. Joining forces with like-minded organisations will deliver long term benefits for people and the environment.”

About the GABV

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) is a network of independent banks and banking cooperatives with a shared mission to use finance to deliver sustainable economic, social, and environmental development. Founded in 2009, the GABV comprises 67 financial institutions operating in 44 countries across Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe. It serves more than 60 million customers collectively, holds over USD 200 billion of combined assets under management, and employs 80,000 co-workers.

Meet the banks of the network and the countries where they operate: www.gabv.org/members

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