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IFC Congratulates Banco Itaś on Adopting the Equator Principles


Ann Pasco
Phone: 202-473 9167

Email:
apasco@ifc.org


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.

 



More information on the Equator Principles is available at
: http://www.ifc.org/equatorprinciples