Ethical and value-based finance in Europe

Peace banks since ever, ethical banks refuse to invest in arms and, data in hand, are now showing the industry the way to a resilient, profitable and greenwashing-proof finance. Truly sustainable finance.

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Ethical banks: resilient even in the first year of the pandemic

Even in 2020, ethical banks proved to be much more focused on providing services to the real economy than traditional banks. As well as being more profitable on average.
The European banking system as a whole turned out to be resilient in 2020, in stark contrast to the 2008 crisis. The trend in deposits through 2020 seems to have been in uenced positively by the pandemic, which led to a decrease in consumption and an increase in savings. Thus, the volume of bank deposits increased. This trend seems to have been more beneficial for ethical and value-based banks than for the European banking system as a whole.

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"Social and environmental housing at the forefront"

Michael Diaz

"Values have been integrated within all internal processes"

Ugo Biggeri

"Carbon neutrality by 2035. Impact comes before profit"

Marcel Proos

“We measure our impacts transparently and with clear targets”

Jan Köpper

“We are listed on the stock exchange. Sustainability and profit are not at odds”

Oliver Patzsch

"We build an ‘archipelago’ to escape technocracy"

Bernard Horenbeek

Ethical banks: different origins, common goals

A snapshot of European ethical finance as it is today, by interviewing representatives of six ethical and value-based banks.The elements they have in common: a ban on funding the arms industry, since always; the reference to founding values; process innovation; assessment of the social and environmental impact of loans and investments and their contribution to change; constant revision of internal processes.

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Finance and climate

The report shows how ethical and value-based banks are pioneers and forerunners also in accounting. In fact, they are among the first banks in the world to account for indirect greenhouse gas emissions from loans and investments according to the PCAF methodology. A path that conventional banks are also beginning to take. Although the suspicion is that marketing departments prefer to push banks and conventional finance towards greenwashing rather than changing business models.

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Bilanci e clima

Ethical finance and

A few years ago, the world of ethical finance warmly welcomed the launch of the EU sustainable finance initiative. At the same time, we pointed out the clear shortcomings of the European approach. Today, unfortunately, it is no longer a question of different approaches or criticism of some specific issues that needed to be improved. The approach followed by the EU runs the risk of making the word sustainability quite meaningless.

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Tassonomia sociale