An introduction from Martin Rohner, Executive Director at the Global Alliance for Banking on Values
Almost a year ago the Global Alliance for Banking on Values convened at our Annual Meeting in Bern, Switzerland. During the meeting news of a growing global pandemic started to filter through. Since then, the world has changed dramatically.
The impact of the pandemic can be felt in every corner of our lives. But what continues to amaze me is the ability of humankind to adapt to change. Our member banks’ first priority in 2020 was to protect the health and well-being of their clients and employees. At the same time, practical, often financial, solutions had to be found fast to support people and help businesses stay alive. Values-based banks, with their focus on the community, were particularly effective at providing this support. While enormous challenges remain, it is time to think about the future. Before us lies an epochal transformation of business, society, and the broader economy.
Banks will play a pivotal role in the recovery once the impact of the pandemic diminishes. Going back to ‘business as usual’ will not be an option. Values-based banking must take the lead and show how to shape the future of finance so that it becomes fairer, greener, and more inclusive. While it is still too early to see the full financial impact of the crisis on our member banks, I am convinced that they will be able to draw on their resilience to support this transformation.
Finally, I am proud that despite the uncertainties of the pandemic, we have been able to welcome three new members to our network. Even in difficult times, member banks see the Global Alliance for Banking on Values as a unique place to network, collaborate and build greater positive impact. And our network continues to attract leaders in the field of values-based banking precisely because our work is more relevant now, than ever.