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Values-based banks issue ‘Berlin Declaration’ to transform the banking system

13-03-2013 | Berlin - The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of the world's leading sustainable banks, issued today a declaration outlining how the banking system should be transformed. The sustainable banks call for a fundamental shift in how banks operate to make them more transparent, sustainable and diverse.

1. Transparency

Only with transparency can trust be restored and people be aligned with the financial system and how it can serve them. All banks must provide full transparency on their business models and use of client funds using common standards to be set by independent experts such as the Global Reporting Initiative.

2. Sustainability

Banks play a critical role in the transition towards a more sustainable economy. Therefore social and ecological criteria must play a critical role in the creation and use of financial products. All banks must use indicators to report social and ecological impact which should also be used within the regulatory framework.

3. Diversity

The diversity of economies, cultures and community needs a diverse network of banks. Governments and regulators must include a diversity of banks as an important goal in the process of reframing regulations for the financial sector.

In addition, the 22 GABV banks, whose active members in Germany include GLS Bank and the local branch of Triodos Bank, demanded that regulation of financial markets should focus primarily on a positive vision for the global banking system beyond fixing the consequences of the financial crisis.

Peter Blom, Chair of the GABV and CEO of Triodos Bank: “We want to draw on the successes of groundbreaking banks around the world to develop the partnerships and genuinely innovative approaches necessary to forge a financially viable future for banking, a positive future that starts and ends with the interests of people and the environment they depend on.”

Thomas Jorberg, CEO GLS Bank and member of the Steering Committee of the GABV: “To change the financial system we need a vision that takes social and ecological impact into account when making financial decisions. This means that next to profit and risk, a banker also has to judge the social and ecological impact in the real economy.“

On the occasion of the GABV annual members' meeting, GLS Bank is inviting leaders from business, politics and the financial services industry, as well as financial and economics experts, to Berlin for the first public conference of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV). Those attending ‘Change-makers: Transforming Banking Values’ will develop visionary financial concepts and sustainable approaches for a humane future in banking and discuss practical examples.

Norbert Lammert, President of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, will open the conference of global sustainable banks. The Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček (2012 German Economics Book Prize-winner for “The Economics of Good and Evil”), the co-founder of the Presencing Institute at MIT, Otto Scharmer, and the South African social entrepreneur Wendy Luhabe have already agreed to attend as speakers and roundtable participants. GLS Bank, as a GABV founding member of the alliance of worldwide leading sustainable banks, established in 2009, will serve as host and organiser.

Contact

GLS Bank
Christof Lützel, Press Secretary
E christof.luetzel@gls.de
T +49 173 2786963

GABV
Thomas Steiner, Press Secretary
E thomas.steiner@gabv.org
T +31 6 534 888 13

About the GABV

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values is a network of the world’s leading sustainable banks, set up in 2009. It now has 22 members on six continents. More information at www.gabv.org

About GLS Bank

GLS Bank is the first social-ecological full-service bank in the world. Established in 1974, the cooperative membership bank is the only bank to provide values-oriented financial investments, financing, equity capital, foundations and donations from one source. www.gls.de

Values-based banks network to transform the banking system

Berlin Declaration 2013

Download the full document "Berlin Declaration 2013 - Transforming the Financial System for stability and a focus on people" (PDF 220.3 KB)

 

About the GABV

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values is a network of the world’s leading sustainable banks, set up in 2009. It now has 22 members on six continents. More information at www.gabv.org

About GLS Bank

GLS Bank is the first social-ecological full-service bank in the world. Established in 1974, the cooperative membership bank is the only bank to provide values-oriented financial investments, financing, equity capital, foundations and donations from one source. www.gls.de