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Global Sustainable Banking Network Expands

17-12-2010 | Zeist

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values, a network of the world's leading sustainable banks, announces four new members today from South America, North America, and Europe. The banks join nine founding banks committed to building a better financial future in challenging times.

Announcing the new members, Global Alliance for Banking on Values Chair and Triodos Bank CEO, Peter Blom, said; "We want to see banks that value people and the environment as well as profit, become the norm not the exception. We want to grow a genuine movement, not be a club for successful but small-scale institutions. And we want to build a powerful voice for sustainable banking as a model for a very different future for finance. Expanding our network is evidence that we can do just that."

Unlike the mainstream banks, all of the new members have a values-driven agenda at the core of their mission. They are: BancoSol who focus on low-income sectors in Bolivia; American Community Development Bank, OneCalifornia Bank; Canada's largest credit union, Vancity; and Norwegian sustainable banking specialists, Cultura Bank.

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values, which uses finance to deliver sustainable development for unserved people, communities and the environment, now represents close to 10 million customers in 24 countries, with a combined balance sheet of over $26 billion. Its members are conspicuous in the banking industry for using their profits to deliver financial, community and environmental benefits.

Launched in the Netherlands in 2009, the expanding network will meet in Lima in March 2011 to work on ambitious plans to change the face of modern banking. They intend to do it 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.

Speaking from Vancouver, Vancity President and CEO, Tamara Vrooman said; "Vancity and its partners in the Global Alliance for Banking on Values share a genuine commitment to create a more socially just and environmentally sustainable future for our members and customers. We all have a unique opportunity to work as community catalysts and to have an impact far beyond the financial services we provide. We are delighted to be part of the Alliance."

According to Cultura Bank CEO, Lars Hektoen; "A growing number of mission-driven banks are making a powerful difference for people and the environment across the world. But they often act alone, or in regions. The Global Alliance for Banking on Values brings them together to grow sustainable banking, and increase its influence, substantially."

Earlier this year the Global Alliance for Banking on Values announced that it had exceeded a commitment made at the Clinton Global Initiative to raise $250 million in new capital over three years, in just one. In practice the network's members raised close to $400 million.

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