A Canadian credit union, the $2.9 billion Affinity of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, said this week it is joining the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, an Amsterdam organization of banks and credit unions devoted to social initiatives in such areas as environment and community building Affinity said its joining might help set the stage for U.S. credit unions to sign up.
Affinity said it has signed on with Global, a 19-member group, “because of its triple emphasis of people, plant and profit” and now hopes to interact with both banks and two other Canadian credit unions which are members. They are Vancity, Vancouver, British Columbia and Assiniboine Credit Union in Manitoba.
“We see connecting with GABV as helpful to us in providing new ideas in some very specialized areas including sustainable green initiatives, affordable housing and microlending,” said Myrna Hewitt, senior vice president-marketing/research.
In a statement, George Keter, CEO of 95,000 member Affnity, said the participating institutions are those “that, of course, have to make a profit, but are interested in doing things that are good for people in terms of community building and in personal outcomes for the betterment of people. As well, they are concerned about the planet and sustainability."
GABV organizations, he said, “believe they must improve the quality of life for everyone on the planet, recognizing that we are economically interdependent and responsible to current and future generations.”
Each bank or credit union “operates in a completely different market, but finds ways to use their banking activities to be a community builder," Keter said.