Setting the standards

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) and its member banks have developed a scorecard (the GABV Scorecard) that sets the bar for sustainable and social banking. The GABV Scorecard structures and captures the vision, strategy and practice of values-based banks.

The approach provides a snapshot of where an organisation is in its journey and may flag what next steps are needed to move the institution further along in the Banking on Values movement. The GABV Scorecard can be used by any banking institution and is based on the Principles of Values-based Banking.

What are the Principles?

The GABV Scorecard aims to quantify the two most distinctive forms of intermediation common to values-based banks: serving the real economy and commitment to a Triple Bottom Line approach.

The two distinct elements

What is the real economy?

For the purpose of the GABV Scorecard, the real economy relates to economic activities that directly support the production of goods and services. Only financial instruments that are separated by one degree from the real economy are considered. 

When is financial intermediation classified as real economy?

Financial intermediation can be classified as Real Economy (as opposed to Financial Economy) if it is directly linked to a Real Economy Asset or Activity. This means that the intermediation is aimed at directly supporting the production of goods and services, as opposed to focusing primarily on buying and selling in the financial markets. Examples include: financing of energy retrofits of buildings, financing for food manufacturers, real estate fund with direct investments in property, among others.

What is Triple Bottom Line?

In the GABV Scorecard, the Triple Bottom Line is used as a decision-making tool to account for social empowerment, environmental regeneration, and economic resilience. 

When is financial intermediation Triple Bottom Line?

We consider financial intermediation to be Triple Bottom Line if it supports individuals or enterprises delivering impact in at least one of the following categories: Social Empowerment (People), Environmental Regeneration (Planet), and/or Economic Resiliency (Prosperity). To determine if something qualifies as contributing to the Triple Bottom Line, institutions can be guided by a specially designed decision tree to determine if there are positive or negative impacts to the intermediation. Examples of Triple Bottom Line intermediation are: finance for small and medium-sized enterprises to generate employment in an environmentally-friendly way, renewable energy projects, housing for people living on low incomes, to name a few. Looking at the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can also provide a good starting point for evaluating whether an activity will deliver positive impact and can be defined as Triple Bottom Line.

How does the GABV Scorecard work?

The GABV Scorecard can be used by any banking institution meeting the Basic Requirements defined above, and is based on a two-pillar structure: Quantitative Factors and Qualitative Factors. These elements are captured to create a comprehensive evaluation and to provide a base assessment on where the institution is on its values-based journey.

The Quantitative Factors capture the financial resilience of a bank – including return on assets, equity, low quality assets and client funding to total assets data – , intermediation of money in the real economy and its intermediation of money supporting clients delivering Triple Bottom Line impact for society.


The Qualitative Factors captures a bank’s core culture and capabilities across the six dimensions of leadership, organisational structure, products and services, management systems, human resources, and performance reporting.

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