First Ethical Bank in Croatia to Start Operations in First Quarter of 2017

Total Croatia News

The bank will publish information on all loans, as well as salaries of all employees.

The first ethical bank in Croatia has filed necessary documents with the Croatian National Bank and could soon bring something completely new to Croatian financial industry. It is expected that its CEO will be Silvana Vujnović, an experienced banker who has decided to devote herself to a different kind of banking, reports Večernji List on October 24, 2016.

“We have submitted our documents, and the law says that the Croatian National Bank (HNB) has six months to issue the license. However, since we have good cooperation with HNB, we expect to receive it by the end of this year. Therefore, our plan is to start working in the first quarter of 2017”, said Vujnović. “We do not believe that our application could be rejected, because we have met all the requirements needed for the license to be issued.”

“After we start approving loans, we will publish all the information on our website, including the amount and criteria used in evaluation. We will also publish salaries of our employees, and the ratio between the lowest and the highest salary will be 1:4”, said Vujnović. “Our goal is to collect 150 million kuna of capital before we start. However, we have drafted our business plan on the basis of having 80 million kuna. It is important to emphasize that the bank will also use capital from our business partners from the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks which has already granted us 1.5 million euros.”

“We currently have about 650 members, including approximately 200 companies, while others are individuals. Our goal is to have 1,000 members by the end of this year, and at this pace we will make it a reality. We do not accept everybody, and we have rejected several applications because they did not comply with our principles”, added Vujnović. “As for big clients, we made a decision to found an ethics committee to make decisions on their inclusion. We would like to have those who think about the development of society and the community, respect the rights of employees, and take care of their own energy efficiency.”

“Whether our operations are ethical will be evaluated by clients. In addition to responsible behavior, our team members must have the tendency towards solidarity, teamwork and, above all, personal integrity. Ethical banks have long-lasting management teams because they are not conducive to minority interests. Such banks generally do not pay profits to their owners, but reinvest it by financing projects of clients. We will stimulate savings in small amounts, up to 50,000 kuna, by paying higher interest rates than commercial banks”, said Vujnović.

“I am proud of this project because, while working in a bank, I saw great potential for projects whose implementation I could not approve. Total savings in Croatia banks amount to 257 billion kuna, but this money is not being invested because the requirements are so demanding. Reactions from people are extremely positive. People will soon be able to see for themselves that there are still honest and moral people who want to work in an ethical manner”, concluded Vujnović.


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