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Initiative Launched to Establish Ethical Bank

Ljubljana, 18 June (STA) - Slovenia can expect to get an ethical bank, two NGOs announced as they presented a project called Ethical Bank, which will also promote new jobs and sustainable projects. Many companies have already expressed support for the project, which would cost EUR 5m.

The idea to bring ethical banking to Slovenia was presented on Tuesday in Ljubljana by Umanotera and the eTRI development cooperative.

They decided to launched the project because obsession with profit, corruption and poor risk management have resulted in overall dissatisfaction with the banking system, which offers no alternative.

Some European countries have already introduced ethical banks which grant loans to ensure social, environmental and cultural benefits to the real economy, according to Jonas Sonnenschein of Umanotera.

A recent survey by pollster Mediana has shown a relatively high level of support for ethical banking, which according to Maša Muster of Mediana calls for reflecting on setting up an ethical bank.

The idea was supported by 71% of respondents and nearly 82% would probably open an "ethical" personal account. Those who would not, cited lack of information as well as lack of confidence in the concept of ethical banking.

To take a step forward, eTRI will launch a campaign to better inform the public about ethical banking and link up with local authorities and companies.

eTRI director Lenka Puh said they were planning to establish a cooperative since such banks are organised as cooperatives, sign a letter or intent and obtain financial and technical assistance. More should be known in the autumn.

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