Sustainable banks pledge to serve the poor

| March 8, 2010 | 0 Comments
Sustainable banks pledge to serve the poor

Eleven industry leading sustainable banks have pledged to deliver banking services to the world’s poorest people.

The banks made the promise at the second summit of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, earlier this month.

“Fighting poverty will remain the first priority for the banking sector in the foreseeable future,” said Fazle Hasan, GABV co-founder.

This includes providing banking services to people in poverty, which helps to redistribute global wealth.

Speaking at the conference, Bangladesh’s finance minister AMA Muhith said: “Unserved people must be provided with the banking facilities to make an equitable planet.

“Banking for the poor also helps create equitable distribution of wealth.”

The GABV was launched last year in the Netherlands by eleven sustainable banks including Alternative Bank ABS, Switzerland, Banca Popolare Etica, Italy, Banex, Nicaragua, BRAC Bank and BRAC Microfinance Programme, Bangladesh, GLS Bank, Germany, Merkur Bank, Denmark, Mibanco, Peru, New Resource Bank and ShoreBank Corporation of United States, Triodos Bank, The Netherlands and XacBank, Mongolia.

These banks are profitable, have resisted the financial crisis, and take into account people, profit and the planet when deciding how to provide banking services.

Together, the banks represent seven million customers in 20 countries with a combined balance sheet of over $14 billion.

“Our alliance may be smaller, but its impacts will be bigger,” said Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC, the world’s biggest microfinance provider.

“It’s not growth in itself but the quality of growth that creates sustainability.”

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