Press Releases

Financial Times and IFC Launch 2009 Sustainable Banking Awards

In Washington, DC:
Lotte Pang, IFC

Phone:  +1 (202) 758 4290

London, December 11, 2008--The Financial Times, in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today launched the 2009 edition of the FT Sustainable Banking Awards, the leading awards recognising banks and other financial institutions for leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental and corporate governance considerations into their operations.

Now in their fourth year, the 2009 Sustainable Banking Awards incorporate a new category, the Award for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing, which is open to all financial sector participants and recognises ground-breaking transactions, programmes and initiatives that use the power of finance to address the scarcity of essential goods across society.

“The awards are all the more timely in light of the financial crisis, which has intensified debate over the role of ethics and sustainability objectives in ensuring the financial industry’s long-term health and competitiveness,” said John Willman, FT UK Business Editor and Co-Chair of the awards judging panel.

Lars Thunell, IFC Executive Vice President and CEO, commented: “The crisis has highlighted the continuing plight of the very poor and the urgency to find solutions to the under-supply of basic needs such as energy, water and food alongside efforts to deal with the challenges of climate change. That is why we have introduced a new category on basic needs financing.”

The FT Sustainable Banking Awards have grown in popularity and last year’s winners were selected from a record 182 entries from 129 institutions across 54 countries.

For 2009, applications are being accepted until March 6 in the following five categories: Sustainable Bank of the Year, Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year, Achievement in Basic Needs Financing, Banking at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and Sustainable Investor of the Year.

The awards for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing, Banking at the Bottom of the Pyramid, and Sustainable Investor of the Year, are open to all financial institutions, including non-banks. The other two categories are open only to banking institutions.

Each category will have a shortlist of five finalists -- except Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year, where, as in previous years, the winner will be chosen from four banks awarded prizes for regional leadership in Africa/Middle East, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America respectively.

The winners will be announced and the awards presented on June 4, 2009 at a gala dinner at the Renaissance Chancery Court Hotel in London attended by senior bankers and decision-makers in the area of sustainability.

The dinner will conclude the 2009 FT Sustainable Banking Conference, the major annual summit on sustainable banking and finance that will gather some of the world’s most renowned visionaries, strategists and financial decision-makers to discuss the impact of the financial crisis, and particularly whether the historic changes in the financial sector will drive banks to meet stakeholders’ expectations of more open, transparent businesses that demonstrably deliver value to society.

Leading consultancy Sustainable Finance Limited will again be technical advisor for the awards. The judging panel will be co-chaired by John Willman of the FT and Rachel Kyte, Director of Environment and Social Development, IFC, and will feature leading figures involved in sustainable finance and development.

Entry forms and other details of the awards and the Sustainable Banking Conference can be obtained at

About the Financial Times

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy.  Providing extensive news, comment and analysis, the newspaper is printed at 24 print sites across the globe, has a daily circulation of 448,523 (ABC figures November 2008) and a readership of 1.4 million people worldwide. is the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. attracts 7.1 million unique users, generating 72 million page views (ABCe figures, March 2008).

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit

In London:
Emma Gilpin-Jacobs, Financial Times
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7873 4447

Lizzie Allen, Financial Times
Phone: +44 (0) 20 7873 4463

In Hong Kong:
Azmar Sukandar, Financial Times
Phone: +852 2905 5519