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Global Alliance grows

Sustainable banking’s key network announces three new members, from Latin America, Asia and Europe

07-05-2013 | The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of the world's leading sustainable banks welcomes three new members today; Paraguayan microfinance bank, Vision Banco, Nepalese renewable energy specialists, Clean Energy Development Bank, and UK-based sustainable building experts, the Ecology Building Society.

The GABV now numbers 25 of the world’s most progressive financial institutions, with combined balance sheet assets of over US$ 68 billion and almost US$15 billion of additional assets under management. In March of this year the group launched a Berlin Declaration calling for a transition to a more inclusive banking industry that serves the real economy. In particular they want banks to become more transparent focusing on sustainability in a diverse banking landscape.

“The three new members of the GABV epitomise the positive potential of a more diverse banking industry,” says Peter Blom, GABV Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of European sustainable bank, Triodos Bank. “These banks have different specialist expertise in sectors and regions, they understand their local economies and sectors, and are building long-term, resilient economic growth. Their financial strength and growing impact provides yet more evidence that sustainable banking works and can become an important reference for a more resilient banking industry that serves people first.”

The GABV’s newest members are part of a growing movement of banks, most of whom have performed well before, during and since the worst excesses of the financial crisis.  “What we do matters,” says Beltrán Macchi Salin, CEO of Vision Banco. “For over 20 years we have provided finance for entrepreneurs across Paraguay, helping to build a more inclusive financial system for hundreds of thousands of ordinary Paraguayans. By working with other banks that share our focus on improving people’s quality of life, we plan to extend the impact of our activity further and faster.”  

“Focusing on sustainable outcomes is good for communities, the environment, the generations that are yet to come, and the long-term strength of our institution,” says Clean Energy Development Bank’s General Manager, Barsha Shrestha. “We believe banking is about more than just profits. Because we have a singular focus on creating an energy efficient future that connects and empowers are customers, we’ve been able to become the leading bank in promoting renewable and sustainable energy projects especially hydropower, solar, and biomass projects in Nepal. We are more concerned about mobilizing banking resources to strengthen the real economy and we have been the first private sector bank in Nepal to promote woman entrepreneurs. We want to share our learning and benefit from the experience of others who have already faced similar issues, in different contexts.”

Member-owned Ecology Building Society also has an environmental focus, but on another continent and in another market. “We provide different solutions to similar problems,” says CEO, Paul Ellis. “We provide mortgages across the UK for environmentally-positive properties and projects. While the context is different, our values are aligned with our colleagues in Asia, and elsewhere in the world. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to both share our experience and learn by engaging with colleagues from the world’s most progressive financial institutions.”

For more information on the GABV, visit www.gabv.org .


James Niven 
+31 30 694 2421 +31 6 5390 8150

BACKGROUNDER: Global Alliance for Banking on Values
• The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) is a membership organisation, made up of twenty-five of the world's leading values-based banks, from Asia, Africa,  and Latin America, to the US, Australia, Canada and Europe. All members are independent, licensed financial institutions.
• The CEOs of the member banks are personally committed to realising the GABV’s aims. Their involvement maximizes the chance of a successful transformation and improving banks to more sustainable, fair institutions focused on serving people.
• The organisation began when nine of the world’s banks came together in 2009 to commit to supporting the growth of sustainable banking and its impact worldwide.
• Members believe that we must improve the quality of life for everyone on the planet, recognising that we are economically interdependent and responsible to current and future generations.
• Across the world, GABV members play a crucial role in providing the money entrepreneurs and their enterprises need to transform lives and deliver sustainable development for unserved people, communities and the environment.
• Members are bound by a shared commitment to find global solutions to international problems, and to promote a positive, viable alternative to the current financial system and mainstream banking business models.
• GABV banks have combined balance sheet assets under management of over $68 billion, and almost $15 billion of assets under management. The banks operate in 28 countries.
• To qualify for membership, each institution must: be an independent and licensed bank or financial institution with a focus on retail customers; have a minimum balance sheet of $50 million; and be committed to responsible financing and the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity.
• In 2009: GABV committed to raising $250 million (USD) in capital over three years to support expansion of nearly $2 billion in lending to unserved communities and individuals, and green projects, at the Clinton Global Initiative. They raised $400 million in just one year.
• Most banking institutions base their business decisions primarily or exclusively on profitability. GABV banks start by identifying a human need to be met and then determine how to meet that need on a financially sustainable basis.

BACKGROUNDER: Global Alliance for Banking on Values Members

Australia BankMECU www.bankmecu.com.au
Bangladesh BRAC Bank and BRAC Microfinance Programme www.bracbank.com
Bolivia BancoFie www.bancofie.com.bo
Bolivia BancoSol  www.bancosol.com.bo
Canada Affinity Credit Union www.affinitycu.ca
Canada Assiniboine Credit Union www.assiniboine.mb.ca.
Canada Vancity Credit Union www.vancity.com
Denmark Merkur Bank www.merkurbank.dk
El Salvador SAC Apoyo Integral www.integral.com.sv
France Credit Cooperatif www.credit-cooperatif.coop
Germany GLS Bank www.gls.de
Italy Banca Popolare Etica www.bancaetica.com
Mongolia XacBank www.xacbank.com
Nepal Clean Energy Development Bank www.cedbl.com
Netherlands Triodos Bank www.triodos.com
Norway Cultura Bank www.cultura.no
Paraguay Vision Banco www.visionbanco.com
Peru Mibanco, Banco de la Microempresa www.mibanco.com.pe
Switzerland Alternative Bank ABS www.abs.ch
Uganda Centenary Bank www.centenarybank.co.ug
United Kingdom Ecology Building Society www.ecology.co.uk
United States First Green Bank www.firstgreenbank.com
United States New Resource Bank www.newresourcebank.com
United States OnePacificCoast www.onepacificcoastbank.com
United States Sunrise Community Banks www.sunrisebanks.com


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