European Microfinance Week 2019

The session aimed to introduce the concept of ethical banking (EB) and discussed how it is similar and different to microfinance and how EB operates. Since 1930 the banking business, which originally had a social involvement, has been progressively losing this original social features. This has made necessary the birth, through a bottom-up process of a new generation of social banks, the so-called "ethical banks". But which are the criteria that a bank that wants to be defined ethical should meet, how does EB select and evaluate the ethics of their investment? Where does microfinance stand in comparison of recent EB's development? How does EB assess the environmental and social impact of their investees? These are among the topics that will be discussed during the panel. Throughout the session, we learned about which are the financial instruments available for the promotion of the ethical banking sector and which challenges EB have still to face in order to move the sector forward.