Washington, August 13, 2004 - The International
Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, welcomes
the announcement by Banco Itaś and Banco Itaś BBA that they have
become the 25th and 26th financial institutions to jointly
adopt the Equator Principles. Adoption of the Equator Principles compliments
the banks’ leadership role on corporate and social responsibility in Brazil
and throughout Latin America. Banco Itaś and Banco Itaś BBA are the second
and third privately owned Brazilian banks to adopt 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, Calyon, CIBC,
Citigroup, Credit Suisse Group, Dexia, Dresdner Bank, EKF, HSBC, HVB Group,
ING, KBC, Mediocredito Centrale, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Rabobank, Royal
Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Chartered, Unibanco, WestLB,
and Westpac. Together these banks are estimated to have arranged
about 75 percent of the project loan syndication
market worldwide in 2003.
“As banks active in project finance in a developing country, Banco Itaś’s
and Itaś BBA’s adoption of the Equator Principles is a major step forward
and one which IFC welcomes with enthusiasm. The application of agreed environmental
and social standards for project finance throughout the world creates tremendous
momentum for improving the quality of projects and facilitating positive
impact,” said Peter Woicke, IFC’s executive vice president.
Banco Itaś is the number two privately owned bank in Brazil, and the first
corporate bank, and has a substantial presence in its home country as well
as in Argentina. “By subscribing to these principles, we are strengthening
Itaś“s commitment to corporate citizenship and the development of the communities
in which we operate. Along with the systematic investments which we have
been making in the areas of culture, education and health, we are reaffirming
our commitment to and deepening our initiative in the field of environmental
responsibility,” said Antonio Matias, executive vice-president of Itaś
and the Itaś Social Foundation.