VSECU, a member-owned cooperative and not for profit credit union for everybody in Vermont, announced December 6, 2016 that it has been accepted as a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), an independent network of values-based banks, banking cooperatives, credit unions, microfinance institutions, and community development banks from across the world.
VSECU is the first credit union in the U.S. to earn membership in the global organization, joining 35 other financial institutions in a joint commitment to use finance to promote sustainable social, environmental, and economic development. GABV members work together to ensure that banking is a healthy and productive system of society and to develop a positive, viable alternative to the current banking system.
“We are excited to welcome VSECU, as we grow our network of like-minded, values-based financial institutions,” said Dr. Marcos Eguiguren, Executive Director of GABV. “Our members are proven to be independent and profitable organizations that deliver long-term benefits for people and the environment. They play a crucial role in the transition to a more sustainable global economy and advance positive change in the banking sector.”
“By focusing on values and impact, we are excited to be part of a larger movement of values-based financial institutions that endeavor to reach above and beyond industry norms, helping to build a framework for financial prosperity that makes a meaningful impact on our employees, our members, and our Vermont communities,” said Rob Miller, CEO of VSECU. “This important membership enables us to tap into resources that help us learn, discover and participate with top minds in our financial eco-system.”
To earn membership in GABV, financial institutions must have a values-driven agenda at the core of their mission and adhere to the organization’s Principles of Sustainable Banking. Those principles include a triple bottom line (people, planet, prosperity) approach; grounding in communities and serving the real economy; transparency; long term resiliency; focus on and deep knowledge of clients; and a values-based organizational culture.
VSECU’s innovative initiatives such as Co-op Capital, which invests in cooperative organizations, unique products such as its VGreen Energy Savings Loans, and collaborative partnerships with organizations like equity crowdfunding platform Milk Money and co-working space The Lighting Jar contributed to its selection as a GABV member.
Under its vision to inspire a movement that brings people together to empower possibilities for greater financial, environmental, and social prosperity, the entire organization is empowered to think about impact over activity to maximize the positive effect on members’ lives and Vermont communities.
“By joining this global values-based banking movement, we have greater resources to leverage as we work to increase our local impact in a sustainable way,” added Miller. “This relationship will help guide our efforts to put finance to work for meaningful social impact for our members, employees, and all Vermonters, and help us demonstrate the value of a model that puts people before profit and invests in the financial well-being of our members and communities.”