Bank signs on to United Nations initiative

by Mackenzie McCarty19 Dec 2012

Bankmecu has announced its involvement in the “Co-operative Decade” initiative, an international blueprint and campaign to raise the status and increase engagement with co-operatives by 2020.

The bank’s managing director, Damien Walsh, says the aim of the UN-backed Co-operative Decade is to take co-operative enterprise in Australia and across the world to a new level.

“Australia’s first customer owned bank, Bankmecu, is one of around 1,800 co-operative businesses and 108 mutual banking institutions in Australia who return benefits to their customers, not external investors.”

Walsh says that the aim of the initiative is for co-operatives to become the fastest growing form of enterprise worldwide by 2020, as well as the business model preferred by the majority of customers – and says he hopes to see the concept acknowledged for its leadership in economic, social and environmental sustainability.

“Bankmecu is committed to advancing the development of co-operatives throughout the Co-operative Decade because we believe so strongly in their capacity to create value for owners in ways that are also socially, economically and environmentally sustainable and responsible.”

In a public statement made at the launch of the Year of the Co-operative campaign earlier this year, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon stressed the importance of the model framework.

“Co-operatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility.”