Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards
United States of America, March, 27 2007 -
MiBanco from Peru and ACLEDA from Cambodia are Just two of the numerous microfinance institutions entered in the 2007 Financial Times (FT) Sustainable Banking Awards, in association with the International Financial Corporation.
The 2007 Financial Times Sustainable Banking Awards received 151 entries from 104 banks by this year’s deadline, which was an increase of more than 50% from the 98 entries in the inaugural 2006 awards. MiBanco, Peru and Association of Cambodian Local Economic Development Agencies (ACLEDA) are just two of the numerous microfinance institutions among the full list of this year’s entrants.
MiBanco (Banco de la Microempresa) was established in Lima in 1992 and assumed the financial operations of Accion Comunitaria del Peru (APC), an NGO which worked with Peruvian micro-entrepreneurs, in 1998. At the year end 2006 MiBanco reported to the Mix Market, the microfinance information clearing house, a gross loan portfolio of USD 320,419,273 and 223,182 active borrowers. It also reported a capital to assets ratio of 13.44% and a debt to equity ratio of 644.31%. ACLEDA was established in 1993 with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It became a licensed bank in October 2000. Reporting to the Mix Market in December 2005 ACLEDA had a gross loan portfolio of USD 99,900,701 and 140,920 active borrowers. They also reported a debt to equity ratio of 287.65%, a return on assets of 3.99%, and a return on equity of 14.33%.
The Sustainable Banking Awards are run in association with the International Financial Corporation (IFC) which aims to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries through loans, equity, and finance and risk management products. The IFC is based in Washington DC and was established in 1956 as the private sector arm of the World Bank Group.
The awards are designed to recognise leadership and innovation in the banking sector when social and environmental objectives are integrated into operations. There will be five finalists and one winner in each of five different categories; sustainable bank of the year; emerging markets sustainable bank of the year; sustainable bankers of the year; sustainable deal of the year; and achievement in carbon reduction. Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times sees the increasing numbers of entrants and geographical diversity in the 2007 awards as “a testament to the growing global recognition of sustainable banking.”
The growing popularity of the FT Sustainable Banking Awards closely follows news of unprecedented numbers of winners in the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) Financial Transparency Awards 2006, also reported by Microcapital.org. The CGAP awards received a record 231 entries in 2006 and recognised 20 winning microfinance organisations (full list available here), up from just 5 winners in 2005. Although both the FT and CGAP awards are in their relative infancy, at just 2 and 3 years old respectively, the rising numbers of entrants and winners in each signals the growing commercial strength of the microfinance industry.