Washington, March 19, 2007 - IFC,
the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, welcomes the announcement
by La Caixa that it has become the 46th financial institution to adopt
the Equator Principles. Adoption of the Equator Principles complements
the bank’s leadership role on corporate and social responsibility in Spain.
It further establishes the Equator Principles as the international environmental
and social standards 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, which are based on IFC’s performance
standards. Launched by 10 banks in June 2003, the principles were revised
in June 2006 and have been adopted to date by 45 financial institutions.
In total, these banks are estimated to arrange
about 85 percent of project financing
“IFC welcomes adoption of the Equator
Principles by La Caixa, a bank active in project finance in developing
countries, as a major step forward. The application of agreed environmental
and social standards for project finance throughout the world creates a
level playing field among banks and positively influences projects' impact,”
said Lars Thunell, IFC’s Executive Vice President.
“By adhering to these principles, La
Caixa reasserts its growing commitment to good corporate government, which
is based on responsible and transparent management, acting ethically, taking
into account labor relations and the environment, and contributing to socioeconomic
development," explains Isidro Fainé, CEO of La Caixa.
The current signatories to the Equator
Principles are: ABN AMRO Bank, ANZ, Banco Bradesco, Banco do Brasil, Banco
Itaú, Bank of America, BMO Financial Group, BTMU, Barclays plc, BBVA, BES
Group, Calyon, Caja Navarra, CIBC, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group,
Dexia Group, Dresdner Bank, E+Co , EKF, FMO, Fortis, HBOS, HSBC Group,
HypoVereinsbank, ING Group, Intesa Sanpaolo, JPMorgan Chase, KBC, Manulife,
MCC, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Millennium bcp , Nedbank Group, Rabobank Group,
Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, Standard Chartered Bank, SMBC, The Royal
Bank of Scotland, Unibanco, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, WestLB AG, and Westpac
Banking Corporation. For more information on the Equator Principles, see
IFC, the private sector arm of the World
Bank Group, promotes open and competitive markets in developing countries.
IFC supports sustainable private sector companies and other partners
in generating productive jobs and delivering basic services, so that people
have opportunities to escape poverty and improve their lives. Through FY06,
IFC Financial Products has committed more than $56 billion in funding for
private sector investments and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications
for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC Advisory Services
and donor partners have provided more than $1 billion in program support
to build small enterprises, to accelerate private participation in infrastructure,
to improve the business enabling environment, to increase access to finance,
and to strengthen environmental and social sustainability. For more information,
please visit www.ifc.org.