Alternative Bank Schweiz, based in Olten, Switzerland, has joined the European network for shareholder engagement SfC – Shareholders for Change on 21 June 2019. The network, that was created in December
2017, has now 11 members investing in more than €23bn and representing about €140bn assets under management.
Founded in 1990, ABS is owned by more than 6,700 shareholders. It has total assets of around CHF 1.8bn (€1.62bn) and 35,000 customers. As a socially and ecologically oriented bank, it is not focussed on profit
maximisation and always gives priority to its ethical principles. ABS invests its customers’ money in projects and companies with a strong social and environmental commitment: at least 80 percent of its
financing must have a positive effect on society and the environment.
«Together with SfC, we want to make a difference at companies in which we and other members of the network are invested», says Michael Diaz, Head of Investment at ABS and member of its Executive Board. «This is much more difficult if we do it alone». For Michael Diaz, a further advantage of the SfC membership is the exchange of experiences: «We can share our sustainability approach with the other members and, in return, profit from their experience and know-how in the engagement with companies».
«We are particularly proud to have ABS on board», states Aurélie Baudhuin, president of Shareholders for Change. «They are a recognized player in sustainable banking since thirty years and they can certainly add value to our network. We are happy to involve the bank in our joint engagement projects on taxation in the telecommunication sector and rare earth metals’ supply chains in the second part of the year».
About ABS (Alternative Bank Schweiz)
Alternative Bank Switzerland (ABS) is a sustainability-oriented bank. ABS emphasizes ethical principles and transparency instead of maximum profits and promotes projects in the area of affordable and ecological housing, renewable energy, organic farming and social organizations.