Group 2

vdk bank creates first ever three-sided coin


30 October 2023

vdk bank invented a unique, triple-sided collector’s coin with approval of the National Bank of Belgium and the European Central Bank. The three sides symbolise the ‘triple’ thinking – or what sustainable banking really means.

Research by vdk bank found that 7 out of 10 Belgian savers and investors don’t have the slightest idea of what their bank does with their hard-earned money, as an inquiry with 1,000 Belgians. That’s why vdk bank started a large campaign that encourages Belgians, and especially young people, to think more about how they can use their money to build a better future for themselves, their community and the planet.

To manifest this trifold perspective into an impactful awareness campaign, a potent analogy was pursued. Introducing: the three-sided coin, where the third facet symbolises the influence your finances can wield on both society and the environment.

A three-sided coin: Customer, Community and the Planet

While most discussions about money tend to revolve around profit and loss, vdk bank challenges this perspective by introducing a third dimension – the impact money can have on society and the planet. The three sides, customer, community and planet, encapsulate their core principles.

The customer side emphasizes vdk bank’s dedication to providing customers with competitive interest rates on their deposits. The bank ensures that customer funds are reinvested within their community, financing essential entities such as universities, schools, clinics, and retirement homes. The focus on community extends to the environment and the region, highlighting the bank’s commitment to local social impact.

On the planet side, vdk bank takes a strong stance against investing in fossil fuels and environmentally harmful activities. They have a transparent policy regarding their investments, publicly disclosing the companies they finance, even including some major corporations. This transparency ensures that their customers are informed and can hold the bank accountable, promoting responsible and sustainable banking practices.

A heritage of community focus

vdk bank’s commitment to the community and the planet is deeply ingrained in its DNA. Founded in 1926 by syndicates, the bank originated from a need for a financial institution that catered to blue-collar workers. Over the years, the bank has remained true to its community-focused roots, consistently supporting local initiatives and driving positive change. Today, this commitment extends to addressing the challenges posed by climate change, particularly the issue of energy-efficient housing for young buyers.

As Leen Van den Neste, the CEO, expressed:

“vdk bank constantly reinvents itself to align with emerging ethical and sustainable banking themes. Their core values are vital in guiding their strategic decisions and maintaining their community-oriented focus.”

Human-Centric Banking

One of the distinguishing features of vdk bank is its commitment to personal banking relationships. While digital banking has become increasingly prevalent, the bank continues to open branches, emphasizing the value of human interactions. The importance of personal touch is particularly evident during significant life events, such as the death of a family member, where vdk bank provides essential support, easing the administrative burden during an emotionally challenging time.

vdk bank actively engages its employees, ensuring that everyone shares the same passion and understanding of the bank’s values. New hires are assessed based on their alignment with the bank’s core principles.

A three-dimensional paradigm for the future

The introduction of the three-sided coin by vdk bank exemplifies a visionary approach that extends beyond the binary nature of traditional banking. The inclusion of community and planet in their core principles challenges the status quo, offering an alternative perspective on the future of finance.

As the world grapples with the effects of climate change and the need for sustainable practices, vdk bank’s journey stands as a testament to the enduring importance of community-focused, ethical and sustainable banking. Their continued dedication to their founding principles serves as a model for how banking can evolve to meet the needs of both people and the planet. In a financial landscape often defined by profit and loss, vdk bank’s pioneering three-sided coin offers a beacon of hope for a more sustainable future.

Approval from the national mint authority

The coin plays a central role in all campaign deliverables, including out-of-home displays, social media, print advertisements, and online videos. However, it didn’t stop at being a mere metaphor. Thanks to a collaborative effort involving multiple skilled artisans, the coin was brought to life.

Permission was granted by both the National Bank of Belgium and the European Central Bank. Giovanni Van de Velde, the mint master at The Royal Belgian Mint, explained to Bonka, the agency that created the campaign: “The result really resembles an actual euro coin, but differs just enough from it because of the 3D shape. Since the coin is a symbolic object with no payment value, and because we think it’s a fascinating project, we gave our approval. The European Commission even requested a copy of the coin for internal trainings on copyright.”


Related content