IDF holds STP on ethical banking in Italy

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Study Tour Program in ItalyADFIAP’s Institute of Development Finance (IDF) in collaboration with the Association of African DFIs (AADFI) and the Venice-based Chamber of Cooperation for Incentive and Partnerships (CCIP) conducted from March 25-29, 2014 a study tour program (STP) for development finance institutions (DFIs) with focus on ethical banking and digital banking evolution in Milan and Padova, Italy. Nineteen (19) senior officials of ADFIAP and AADFI member-institutions from Malaysia, Oman, Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Nigeria, and Zambia attended the program.

The STP aims to enhance the participants’ knowledge and understanding of ethical banking and its operation and digital banking evolution in Italy. Visits to ethically-and socially-oriented banks and financial institutions included Banca Prossima, Banca Popolare, Intesa Bank and the Etica Consortium.

As a background, banks have been historically viewed solely as financial institutions which concern themselves only with all things financial. This public view has allowed banks significant leeway concerning ethical standards. With changing social demands and as more is known about the effects that banks can have through their lending policies, they begun to feel the pressure to go beyond conventional business management. Thus, ethical banking entered into the picture which is synonymous to social, alternative, civic or sustainable banking, fair trade movement, ethical consumerism, etc. It is part of a larger societal movement which calls for a move that creates or produces social value in the financial sector. It is concerned with the social and environment impacts of its investments and loans. In short, it is created for the economy of the common good. The manner of an ethical bank operation closely resembles that of a non-profit organization and enjoys the participation of some of the most important non-profit organizations that support the “third sector”, respond to the needs of these organizations, and improve access to credit and the quality of banking services to them. Energy efficiency, social enterprise start-ups and fund-raising are some of projects being carried out by these social bankers.

ADFIAP was represented in the program by its Senior Executive on Programs, Mrs. Sandra C. Honrado and AADFI by its Secretary-General, Mr. Joseph Alfred Amihere, respectively. The STP group was warmly welcomed to Italy by the CCIP Secretary-General and Director, Mr. Roberto Alzetta and Dr. Helene Sadaune.

For interest in study tour programs conducted by the IDF and/or any course related to development banking and sustainable development, please email inquiries@adfiap.org

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