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Financial Times and IFC Launch 2008 Sustainable Banking Awards


The Financial Times, in partnership with IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today launched the 2008 edition of the FT Sustainable Banking Awards, the leading awards for triple bottom line banking.

Two new categories - Banking at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and Sustainable Investor of the Year - have been added to the ground-breaking programme.

The awards, now in their third year, were created by the FT and IFC to recognise banks that have shown leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental and corporate governance objectives into their operations.

“We were delighted with the strong response to the 2007 awards, and the two categories added this year should attract even greater interest from financial institutions around the world,” said Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times. “The Bottom of the Pyramid award will highlight the increasing importance of microfinance as well as the initiatives being undertaken by the larger financial institutions working with the poor. The FT is very pleased to be partnering with IFC again on this significant awards programme.”

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, commented: “There are 4 billion people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. Together they represent a $5 trillion market, but few of them even have a bank account. The Bottom of the Pyramid Award will recognize financial institutions that are innovating to bring commercial microfinance, insurance, and other essential services to poor people. This provides the tools people need to create their own wealth.”

The 2007 awards attracted 151 entries from 103 institutions in 51 countries, a substantial increase on the first year. ABN Amro won the Sustainable Bank of the Year award, while ABN Amro India was Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year. The Bankers of the Year award was won by Mexico’s Banamex/Citi-Compartamos, Sustainable Deal of the Year went to Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, while Raiffeisen Zentralbank of Austria took the Achievement in Carbon Finance award.

For 2008, applications are being accepted in the following five categories: Sustainable Bank of the Year, Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year, Sustainable Deal of the Year, Award for Banking at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and Sustainable Investor of the Year.

Each category will have a shortlist of five finalists -- except Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year, where the winner will be chosen from four banks awarded prizes for regional leadership in Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Middle East/Africa respectively.

The deadline for entries is February 29, 2008. The Financial Times and IFC plan to organise a series of events during the application period to increase understanding of sustainable banking in key emerging markets. The first of these gatherings is being held in Miami today at the meeting of the Latin American Federation of Banks. Invitation-only cocktail receptions and dinners will also be held in Dubai, Shanghai, Mumbai, Moscow, Istanbul and Lagos ahead of the awards entry deadline.

The FT Sustainable Banking Awards will be presented at a special dinner in London on June 3, 2008. The event will be preceded by the 2008 FT/IFC Sustainable Banking Conference, which has become a major event on the international banking calendar following the success of the inaugural conference this year.

Leading consultancy Sustainable Finance Limited will again be technical advisor for the awards. The judging panel will be co-chaired by John Willman, UK business editor for the Financial Times, and Rachel Kyte, Director of Environment and Social Development, IFC, and will feature leading figures involved in sustainable finance and development.


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