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Rockefeller Foundation Funding to Develop Groundbreaking Sustainable Banking Fund

21-07-2011 | Zeist

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a network of the world’s leading sustainable banks, has received a grant of $200,000 from the Rockefeller Foundation for research to support the development of a new fund which could bring values-driven banking to the mainstream.

The fund intends to work with partners to measure sustainable banking’s impact in more standardized and meaningful ways, thus enabling fund investors to have a clearer, more immediate view of the social and environmental results of their investments, as well as their financial results.

Antony Bugg-Levine, Managing Director at the Rockefeller Foundation , said today; “This approach could potentially reinvigorate responsible, community-based banking models for future generations. By funding research to support the development of a new sustainable banking fund, the Rockefeller Foundation aims to grow a more sustainable financial industry; one that is capable of changing the lives of millions of people and safeguarding the environment they depend on.”

“Sustainable or values-based banking – which focuses on benefits for people and the environment and finds a financial means to deliver them - has shown that a different approach to finance is possible.  This funding is designed to support market research to help significantly increase its impact by growing this progressive approach to finance and improving its ability to provide needed financial services to poor and vulnerable populations in an environmentally sustainable manner.”

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values will communicate the results of its research to support wider efforts to expand the impact of sustainable banking. The project has additional international funding from BRAC and Brac Bank in Bangladesh, Vancity in Canada, and the Triodos Foundation in the Netherlands.

The network, founded in 2009 and now comprising 13 of the world’s most innovative mission-driven financial institutions, has ambitions to touch the lives of a billion people with its increasingly popular brand of banking by 2020. “Our members and other banks like them already reach millions of people around the world, from urban America, to rural Bangladesh,” says Global Alliance for Banking on Values Chair and Triodos Bank CEO, Peter Blom. “But there’s much, much more to do. This generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation means we can develop a fund to increase our impact enormously. We’re delighted to receive it, not only as a practical boost to our work on financial capital, but also as a powerful signal from an internationally respected body that sustainable banking can deliver on a genuinely large scale.”

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values, which uses finance to deliver sustainable development for unserved people, communities and the environment, now represents over 7 million customers in 24 countries, with a combined asset base of over $26 billion. Its members are conspicuous in the banking industry for using their profits to deliver financial, community and environmental benefits.

The expanding network has ambitious plans to change the face of modern banking. Its members intend to accomplish this goal by collectively raising substantial new capital, training a new generation of sustainable bankers to use it, and developing a consistent way to measure the impact of sustainable banking globally.

About the Global Alliance for Banking on Values

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) is a membership organization, made up of thirteen of the world's leading sustainable banks, from Asia and Latin America to the US and Europe. They 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. These organizations believe that we must improve the quality of life for everyone on the planet, recognizing that we are economically interdependent and responsible to current and future generations.

Founded in 2009, the network’s members have to meet three criteria:

  • they are independent and licensed banks with a focus on retail customers
  • with a minimum balance sheet of $50 million;
  • and, most significantly, they should be committed to social banking and the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit

About the Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission to promote the well-being of people throughout the world has remained unchanged since its founding in 1913. Today, that mission is applied to an era of rapid globalization. Our vision is that this century will be one in which globalization’s benefits are more widely shared and its challenges are more easily weathered. To realize this vision, the Foundation seeks to achieve two fundamental goals in our work. First, we seek to build resilience that enhances individual, community and institutional capacity to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of acute crises and chronic stresses. Second, we seek to promote growth with equity in which the poor and vulnerable have more access to opportunities that improve their lives. In order to achieve these goals, the Foundation constructs its work into time-bound initiatives that have defined objectives and strategies for impact. These initiatives address challenges that lie either within or at the intersections of five issue areas: basic survival safeguards, global health, environment and climate change, urbanization, and social and economic security. For more information, please visit the website of Rockefeller Foundation .

Media Contacts
James Niven (GABV): +31 30 694 24 21, mobile +31 6 539 081 50 or e-mail James Niven .
Svetlana Vaisman (Rockefeller Foundation): +1 212 852 7362 or e-mail Svetlana Vaisman .  

Read more about the Global Alliance for Banking on Values

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Triodos Bank is a leading expert in sustainable banking for over 30 years.