Press Releases

Report on Green Finance Reveals Multi-Billion Dollar Opportunity for Latin America Banking Sector Study by FELABAN, IFC and EcoBusiness Fund Also Recognizes Regional Leaders in Climate Finance

In Washington DC
John McNally, IFC

Phone: +1 (202) 458 0723


In Miami:

Ernesto Ortiz, FIBA                

Phone: +1 (954) 661 4612


Miami, November 15, 2017—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, FELABAN, (Latin American Federation of Banks), and the EcoBusiness Fund today presented initial findings of their joint “Green Finance Latin American Report 2017,” and recognized leaders in climate finance throughout Latin America.  The report was produced after an extensive regional survey guided by Ernst & Young, with responses from 101 banks in 17 countries (about a quarter of all Latin American banks), as well as 18 regional banking associations.  

The report looked at four green business dimensions adopted by banks in their daily activities. Firstly, internal eco-efficiency practices that banks implement within their own organizations and value chains. Secondly, environmental risk management systems and practices to mitigate climate risks. Thirdly, green products and services offered to their clients, and finally overall strategic commitment to green finance.

The report's main goal was to review to which extent banks in the region are adhering to these four green dimensions, and to assess what is the level of maturity of the green finance market in Latin America, highlighting the gaps and opportunities. Based on methodology developed by Ernst & Young, several outstanding banks and banking associations were singled out with awards.

The report found that the most popular form of climate support offered by banks, was eco-efficiency products, offered by 74% of the 101 participating institutions. Such products include support for programs that promote the efficient use of energy, water and other key resources. Forty-nine percent of the banks offer specific green products and services, including credit products for renewable energy projects, industrial energy efficiency, green buildings, and climate smart agriculture. Those banks that measure the performance of those portfolios, see a significantly better loan performance of their green portfolios as well as high growth rates. In fact, a third of those banks see year-on-year growth rates above 50%. However, only 46% of banks surveyed have adopted an overall green strategy for their banks, meaning there is still room for growth in this area. Full details of the report will be available later this month.

“Latin American commercial banks are sophisticated and have embraced climate finance as a growing business segment. We are happy to recognize their leadership in this field, even as we ask the private sector and banks to step up in financing the US$2.6 trillion investment opportunity that climate change mitigation and adaptation presents in Latin America.” said Peer Stein, IFC’s Global Head of Climate Finance in the Financial Institutions Group.

“Sixty seven percent of our banking associations carry out activities to promote green finance, focusing on environmental risk management and the promotion of green products and services. However, they do not yet integrate specific green objectives into their respective strategies, which shows that we still have a long way to go,” said Giorgio Trettenero Castro, Secretary General of FELABAN.

Sandra Abella, Regional Director Fund added  “We believe that financial institutions in Latin America have a critical role to play when it comes to protecting the most biodiversity regions of world while promoting responsible financial products and services among more sustainable companies”

The following winners and categories were recognized:
Green products and services
Green Finance Commitment
Climate Smart Agriculture
Leadership by Banking Association
Bradesco - Brazil Banco Galicia – Argentina Davivienda - Colombia Banco do Brasil, Brazil Mexico
Davivienda - El Salvador Santander - Brazil B. Pichincha - Ecuador Bancolombia, Colombia Colombia
Davivienda - Colombia Banco do Brasil - Brazil Bancolombia - Colombia Lafise Bancentro, Nicaragua Brazil

The awards, each made of environmentally friendly material, were handed out at a ceremony at the 51st FELABAN Annual Assembly in Miami that ended yesterday, November 14. This year’s FELABAN Assembly was attended by about 2,000 international bankers from more than 50 countries.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit


The Federation of Latin American Banks is a non-profit entity founded by banking associations and other agencies from 19 Latin American countries in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1965, and it includes over 500 regional banks.
Its goals is to promote and facilitate communication, understanding and relationships between financial entities; to support the coordination of criteria and the unification of general banking and financial practices in Latin America; to cooperate with economic development; to promote well-being; and to procure greater access to financial services for low income populations.

About the Fund

The Fund is spearheading the promotion of business practices that contribute to the preservation of biodiversity, the sustainable use of natural resources, and climate change mitigation and adaptation through private enterprises. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both financial and environmental returns. The Fund is structured as a public-private partnership (BMZ, European Union, KfW, FMO, OeEB, GLS Bank, Calvert Foundation, ASN Bank, and Conservation International),  and it was co-created and advised by Finance In Motion.