This blog is not only to harangue my theoretical framework which may sound like an utopian illusion to some of you: This web space will be used to show you some ongoing practices which seem to be indicating the way towards the economic democratization as well, proving that what I have in mind is not unfeasible.
Banca Etica(Ethical Bank), founded in 1999 in Padua(Padova in Italian), Italy, is a good example to pour our asset towards socially-and/or-environmentally responsible projects. It has gathered more than €400 million from more than 20,000 members to invest for more than 1,700 projects.
http://www.bancaetica.com/ (in Italian, English and French)
This bank was created by a group of people, for instance activists for non-profits and members of cooperatives, who were not satisfied with conventional banks(read my previous post to learn why). Savers can choose one of the four realms(social co-operation / eco-friendly projects / aid to developing countries / cultural events) their deposit will be used for and the bank analyzes the social and/or ecological impact of the project as well as whether the borrower can repay money to decide whether a loan is given or not. Here are several examples of projects which have been financed by this institution.
– Fair trade for a Honduran coffee cooperative- Reconstruction of a historic district in Riace, Southern Italy
– Organic farm by a Benedictine monastery
– Organic farming to lessen people’s dependency on the underground economy
– Support for the drug-addicted
– Health-care support system for prostitutes
– Economic aid to Albania
And another feature of this bank is that this financial cooperative is managed by its own savers, although in fact indirectly by their representatives. Transparency on all information about loans is assured and anybody involved with this agency has a clear picture on its administration. Maybe your return from Banca Etica is smaller than in other normal commercial banks, but you’ll be always proud of what your money is achieving(your contribution to the society and/or to the Mother Nature). Isn’t it a good deal for you?