Brokers encouraged to attend sustainable banking conference

by Mackenzie McCarty27 Mar 2013

In March next year, Melbourne will play host to a major conference of the world’s sustainable banks – and brokers are encouraged to attend, says Bankmecu managing director, Damien Walsh.

Walsh, who’s been on the road visiting clients ‘non-stop’ since arriving home from last week’s Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) conference in Berlin, tells Australian Broker the decision to hold next year’s event in Australia will be anopportunity to engage in discussion surrounding ethical and sustainable banking.

“They’re banks with a focus on sustainability from right around the globe. They’re a really interesting group…and we’re mostly small banks in markets run by four or five large banks.”

Bankmecu is currently the only signatory to the alliance and is responsible for bringing the conference to Melbourne.

“It’s a public event – we’ll advice the media and other small banks to educate them around this global alliance and desire to use finance to build the economy. These banks only act in the ‘real’ economy in that they don’t use finance to create money through the likes of trading desks and things…that were integral to the GFC.”

Several issues discussed at this year’s conference struck a chord with Walsh – particularly concerns surrounding competition in the banking sector.

“Competition did come up. I think that the thing about competition is it’s healthy when there’s competition in a business ecology, just like a natural ecology. We wouldn’t have a competitive environment if it just came down to a large group of global banks.”

Walsh says he’s looking forward to bringing the conference over in March for those who are ‘interested in helping Australia move towards a sustainable economy’.

“I think it would be relevant for brokers to come along – our lending is largely into residential secured mum and dads' businesses, so that really does fit into the broker market.”