Press Releases

IFC Congratulates BBVA, First Spanish Bank To Adopt the Equator Principles

In Washington, DC:
Ann Pasco

Phone:+1 (202) 473 9167
Fax:    +1 (202) 974 4384


The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, welcomes the announcement by BBVA that it has become the 23rd  financial institution to adopt the Equator Principles.  Adoption of the Equator Principles is part of BBVA's comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility strategy.  As one of the leading banks in the project finance market and the first Spanish bank to adopt the Equator Principles, this is an important milestone for the Equator Principles.  It further establishes the Equator Principles as the new international environmental and social standard for project finance.  

The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines for managing social and environmental issues related to the financing of development projects and are based on the policies and guidelines of the International Finance Corporation.  Launched by ten banks in June 2003, the principles have been adopted to date by ABN Amro, Bank of America, Barclays, BBVA, CIBC, Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group, Credit Lyonnais, Dexia, Dresdner Bank, EKF, HSBC, HVB Group, KBC, ING, Mediocredito Centrale, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Rabobank, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, WestLB, and Westpac.  Together these banks are estimated to have arranged
about 80 percent of the project loan syndication market worldwide in 2003.

“IFC is very pleased that BBVA has formally adopted the Equator Principles.  We are particularly pleased that a Spanish bank has now adopted these principles.  In taking this step, BBVA is  affirming its environmental and social responsibility and creating convergence around a single set of environmental and social standards for project finance.  The principles simplify the approach for sponsors and provide further validation of IFC’s environmental policies and procedures,” said Peter Woicke, IFC’s executive vice president.

BBVA is a large Spanish bank with a network in 35 countries, and a strong presence in Latin America. According to Francisco González, chairman of BBVA, "Adoption of the Equator Principles is a very important step in BBVA's commitment to harmoniously reconciling the economic, social and environmental aspects of its business, thus advancing towards a sustainable model of development."

More information on the Equator Principles is available at

The mission of IFC ( is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY03, IFC has committed more than $37 billion of its own funds and arranged $22 billion in syndications for 2,990 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC's worldwide committed portfolio as of FY03 was $16.8 billion for its own account and $6.6 billion held for participants in loan syndications.