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IDB launches program to promote sustainability among Latin American financial institutions

MIAMI – The Inter-American Development Bank today presented a program to promote principles of environmental, social and corporate governance sustainability among financial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

The program, beyondBanking: Banking on Global Sustainability, will be carried out by the Financial Markets Division of the IDB’s Structured and Corporate Finance Department, which is responsible for its non-sovereign guaranteed operations. The program was presented at the annual meeting of the FELABAN Latin American banks federation, which is being held here Nov. 15-18.

 

Another goal of beyondBanking is to contribute to the development of a banking system that balances financial and social returns on investments, operates with transparency, expands its coverage and market penetration and respects the environment and the communities where it does business.

 

“The global crisis has underscored the need for financial institutions to look ahead and find ways to do business sustainably, building trust and credibility among their shareholders, employees, clients and other stakeholders,” said IDB Financial Markets Division Chief Daniela Carrera-Marquis.

 

The program beyondBanking expects to build on IDB financial operations and technical cooperation projects with Latin American and Caribbean financial institutions, focusing on six priority areas:

 

  • accessBanking: promoting strategies to bank the unbanked.
  • clearBanking: strengthening corporate governance, risk management and regulatory compliance.
  • connectBanking: disseminating new information and communication technologies.
  • equalBanking: supporting diversity and gender equality.
  • learnBanking: fostering economic inclusion through financial literacy.
  • planetBanking: adapting and responding to climate change.

 

Additionally, the program will establish an ideas laboratory, futureBankinglab, which will provide a forum for developing new financial products and initiatives to promote banking sustainability.

 

“One of the main goals of the program is to encourage financial institutions in this region to include the values of sustainability in their own business models, turning them into a comparative advantage,” said Gema Sacristan, beyondBanking´s program manager.

 

To discuss examples of projects that could be carried out under the new program, the IDB held a roundtable during the FELABAN meeting where participants commented on a “green loan” recently approved for Mexico’s BBVA Bancomer and the “downscaling” strategies followed by Guatemala’s G y T Continental and Ecuador’s Banco Pichincha to become involved in microfinance.

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