Info
Melbourne, Australia | Published on: March 4, 2014
Social media pitch
Can banks do good? Ask the pioneers of the world's leading sustainable banks #GABV2014 http://pr.co/p/001iq0
Summary
Banking and values. Not the most natural pairing of nouns. And after a period of time when the banking crisis and subsequent economic collapse in many countries have severely eroded peoples’ trust in the system, who would think these concepts go together?
A growing network of 25 of the world's leaving values based banks, with combined assets of over USD $70 billion, serving 20 million clients in six continents believe they do. And they are coming together in Melbourne, Australia to argue for a transition to a more diverse, transparent and sustainable banking sector; one that's in the long-term interests of people, policy-makers and even the bankers themselves.
Details

As Australia’s Financial Service Inquiry gets underway, the world’s leading values-based banks are meeting in Melbourne to argue for a very different kind of banking system.

The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a growing, independent network of 25 of the world's leading values-based banks, is holding its 2014 annual conference in Melbourne, hosted by its only Australian member, bankmecu.

The network, which counts the world’s most prominent sustainable banks among its membership, promotes a transition to a more resilient, transparent and diverse banking landscape.Launched in 2009 to grow the impact of values-based banking globally, it now has combined assets of over USD$ 70 billion and provides banking service to more than 20 million clients in six continents.

“We are bringing CEOs from the world’s leading sustainable banks together in Australia to demonstrate the power of people-first banking,” says Peter Blom, CEO of Pan-European sustainable bank, Triodos Bank, and Chair of the GABV.

“These banks have a successful track record of balancing the needs of people, the planet, and prosperity. We want to use these positive examples to demonstrate that a more diverse ecology of banks, made up of both bigger banks and a breadth of smaller more specialised and innovative banks, is in the long-term interests of us all.”

bankmecu will showcase the worldwide sustainable banking movement at two public events, tailored for the business community and for the general public. The events bring senior figures from the sustainability and sustainable finance world including Australian writer, activist and social entrepreneur, Paul Gilding, Founder and Chair of Impact Investment Exchange Asia, Professor Durreen Shahnaz, and banker, author and sustainability consultant, Pavan Sukhdev.

Although each GABV bank is unique, they share a commitment to using money to actively benefit people and the environment. They make business decisions, first, by identifying a human need, and then by determining how to fulfill that need on a financially sustainable basis. Together the GABV network has: created an active human capital network to build a new cadre of sustainable bankers globally; is developing a dedicated investment fund to provide capital for new and existing sustainable banks, and is piloting a scorecard to assess and measure the bank’s social impact and sustainability to appear in GABV member banks 2013 reports later this year.

According to Damien Walsh, Managing Director of Melbourne-based bankmecu, the week is an opportunity to raise the profile in Australia of new approaches to finance and investment around the world.

“This visit of leaders of the world’s most successful values-based banks is timely as we embark on the first thorough examination of Australia’s banking system in nearly 20 years. There is much to learn from our colleagues from abroad, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to share their perspectives with regulators, business leaders and the public alike,” Mr Walsh said.

The conference will include two public events: the first – Redefining Capitalism – financing our future prosperity is on March 5 th, from 12.30 to 2.30 pm. The luncheon panel will feature Durreen Shahnaz, Chair of Impact Investment Exchange Asia, Rumee Ali, GABV Board Member and Director and Board Member of BRAC Bank, Bangladesh, Helga Birgden, Partner and Head of Responsible Investment for Asia Pacific at Mercer, Glen Saunders , Chair of UN Principles of Responsible Investment, and Pavan Sukhdev, CEO of GIST Advisory, Visiting Fellow Yale University in conversation with Presenter of Mornings on 774 ABC Melbourne, Jon Faine.

The other public event – Banking on a More Sustainable World – takes place on the same day from 6pm to 7:30pm. Also hosted by Jon Faine, the panel includes Tamara Vrooman, CEO of Vancity Credit Union, Canada, Paul Gilding, Independent writer and advisor on sustainability, Cambridge School Sustainable Leadership, Durreen Shahnaz, Pavan Sukhdev, Glen Saunders and Peter Blom, CEO of Triodos Bank and GABV Chair. Register for this free event here

For more information on the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, visit www.gabv.org.

For more information on bankmecu, visit www.bankmecu.com.au.

Contact:

James Niven
james.niven@gabv.org
+31 6 5390 8150

Fiona Nixon
fiona.nixon@bankmecu.com
+61 439 579 489


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 sustainable banks, from Asia, Latin America and Africa, to the US, Europe and Australia.
  • The organization 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, recognizing 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.

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.

GABV banks have combined assets of over $70 billion, and operate in over 30 countries.

  • To qualify for membership, each institution must: be an independent and licensed bank 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 profit.
  • 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.
  • In 2010, Global Alliance for Banking on Values pledged to touch the lives of a billion people by 2020 by expanding its network of banks, further increasing the capital it raises and training a new generation of sustainable bankers to use that money to make a lasting difference, and help meet the biggest challenges of our time.

Quotes
We are bringing CEOs from the world’s leading sustainable banks together in Australia to demonstrate the power of people-first banking. These banks have a successful track record of balancing the needs of people, the planet, and prosperity. We want to use these positive examples to demonstrate that a more diverse ecology of banks, made up of both bigger banks and a breadth of smaller more specialised and innovative banks, is in the long-term interests of us all.

— Peter Blom, CEO, Triodos Bank
The more we lean into our mission and the faster change takes place, the better we do.

— Tamara Vrooman, CEO, Vancity
The GABV has been an important catalyst to accelerate our transformation and journey towards impact.

— Tamara Vrooman, CEO, Vancity
It’s not easy for a single bank to have a large voice within a nation. The GABV makes it easier to be heard.

— Lars Hektoen, CEO, Cultura Bank
If we want to change the financial system, it has to be done at an international level.

— Ugo Biggeri, CEO, Banca Popolare Etica
We are clear about what we want to achieve, but it is time for action to create benefits for the GABV banks.

— Peter Blom, CEO, Triodos Bank
We have a global network, and we are connected to activity that is locally grounded. This will create huge opportunities.

— Peter Blom, CEO, Triodos Bank
There is a tremendous opportunity and responsibility for banks like Alternative Bank Switzerland to show that banking can be done differently.

— Martin Rohner, CEO, Alternative Bank Switzerland
There is an urgent need for banks that finance entrepreneurs working in the real economy who create lasting solutions for people and the environment.

— Damien Walsh, CEO, bankmecu
This visit of leaders of the world’s most successful values-based banks is timely as we embark on the first thorough examination of Australia’s banking system in nearly 20 years. There is much to learn from our colleagues from abroad, and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to share their perspectives with regulators, business leaders and the public alike.

— Damien Walsh, CEO, bankmecu