Ethical finance extending the reach

The Scottish Government become signatory (21/22nd September) to UN Principles of Responsible Banking joining a third of the global banking system ($47 trillion worth of assets) 

It is impressive that the United Nations has secured so many signatories to the Principles of Ethical Banking.

 My plea is that Scotland provides a special “Scottish” addendum and extends the principle of ethical finance to include positive action for the unbanked, near prime financial and credit excluded population in Scotland 

In October Global Ethical Finance Initiative acted as pacesetter bringing together UN Multi-faith global power roundtable and a conference dedicated to ethical finance with a global reach. 

It is encouraging to see leadership from the Church of England and Islamic Bank collaborating to spread and scale faith centred ethical standards in banking    Scotland has a long been recognised as a champion of ethical finance. Gremlin Bank (bank for the poor) founded by Mohamed Yunis, more recently Castle Bank Co-operative in Edinburgh support for low-income families and MoneyMatiX community approach to teaching children and families to manage money (and debt) are just a few examples

It is against a backdrop of a long historical tradition in democratic banking serving the poor and rich alike that the vision emerged of a Scottish Investment bank.  The vision is nearing reality as the Scottish Investment Bank bill proceeds through parliamentary processes.  Central to the bill is a remit to include equality impact assessment – focusing on ethical investment for inclusive growth.  Linking the establishment of the Bank to the Equalities Act (2010) is inspired.  Ensuring the needs of people who share one or more of the protected characteristics are met is exactly what is needed to provide inclusive growth. 

I would ask that we open the debate under the auspices of  Fintech Scotland to extend the provision of the Scottish Investment Bank to include fintech mobile innovation as a means of extending the reach to those who are unbanked or “near prime” (not able to access credit due to minor infringement of credit ratings)

I travel with hope in my heart that Scotland will be the first country to aim for zero unbanked.  Adopting SDG’s as key drivers of Scottish policy and acknowledging that wellness sits at the heart of an economically vibrant country is pretty good stuff.    

 As Founder/CEO of Women’s Coin (digital currency of social value) I believe that adoption of ethical financing at Corporate and SME level extending the remit to include digital innovation, tokenisation,  and local currencies will accelerate the spread and scale of adoption of SDG’s (UN Strategic Development Goals).  

There has never been a more critical time for ethical financing and ethical leadership across all sectors Public, Voluntary, Charitable, Corporates and SME’s 

Scotland can really set the pace, the vision and has the know how to create an inclusive society that fosters wellness as the key to economic vitality

Blog written by (Prof) Christine Bamford, Founder/CEO of Women’s Coin

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