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Mar 15, 2012

IDB announces winners of its beyondBanking awards

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Institutions from Bolivia, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico and Paraguay recognized for their contributions to sustainable banking

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced the winners of its beyondBanking awards, which recognize outstanding contributions by financial intermediaries to sustainable banking in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This year’s winners were announced during the annual meeting of the IDB’s Board of Governors. Representatives of the selected institutions will receive the awards during a ceremony to be held here at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 16, at the SODRE National Auditorium.

“The beyondBanking awards underscore a strong commitment to innovation and sustainability in our region’s financial sector. This year’s winners encourage us and our clients to work towards a new paradigm of doing business with a more holistic, long-term perspective of banking,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno.

Established two years ago, the awards are part of the beyondBanking program carried out by the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department (SCF) to promote sustainable environmental, social and governance practices among financial intermediaries in the region. The award categories reflect different aspects of these best practices, from financial inclusion strategies to the application of new technologies and annual sustainability reports.

Caixa Econômica Federal, one of Brazil’s biggest financial institutions, received the accessBanking award for its Agência Chico Mendes, a floating bank branch that brings financial services to isolated communities along rivers in the Amazon region. This project was also the most popular one among online voters who had the final word on the award winners.

Banco de Crédito of Bolivia earned the clearBanking award for its Transparency Program, which offers clients information in simple language so that they can understand how banking services and products work and the nature of their contracts with the bank.

VISA Inc. won the connectBanking award for its Fútbol Financiero program, a free and interactive video game that combines soccer with financial education for youths aged 11 to 18, focusing on personal finance challenges and solutions.

FEBRABAN, the Brazilian banking federation, won the equalBanking award for a labor training program that prepares people with disabilities for jobs in banking.

Banco Itaú Paraguay took the learnBanking award for its series of radio microprograms “Learning Economy and Finance in 60 seconds”.

Guatemala’s Grupo Financiero de Occidente won the planetBanking award for its financial and environmental sustainability program to support small and medium-size businesses in the forestry industry, helping clients achieve sustainable certification and access new markets.

Brazil’s Fondo Social by sitawi recognized with the socially responsible investment/impact investment award for providing low-interest loans with management advice to medium-sized civil society organizations – a flagship credit scheme for Brazilian social organizations.

INFONAVIT, the Mexican government’s housing finance institution, won the sustainable reporting award for its 2010 Sustainability Report, which is available on its website in English and Spanish and received an A+ according to the Global Reporting Initiative’s rating system.

This year the IDB received more than 145 nominations for the beyondBanking awards. The submissions were reviewed by a committee of experts who evaluated the nominations based on their innovative characteristics and social, environmental and/or corporate governance benefits, among other criteria. The committee selected three finalists in each category. Winners were decided by an online voting process open to the public, in which more than 17,000 votes were received from across the region.

About SCF

The Structured and Corporate Finance Department is responsible for the IDB’s non sovereign guaranteed operations for large-scale projects. Its Financial Markets Division, which runs the beyondBanking program, focuses on projects aimed at developing more inclusive, transparent and environmentally responsible financial sector operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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