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IFC Congratulates La Caixa on Adopting the Equator Principles


In Washington, D.C.
Cynthia Case McMahon
Phone:  +1 (202) 473-6287
Email:  ccase@ifc.org

Lucie Giraud
Phone:  +1 (202) 458-4662
Email:  lgiraud@ifc.org


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 worldwide.

“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 www.equator-principles.com.

About IFC

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.