WSBI held its first ever study visit from 5 to 9 June with the title « Deep dive into sustainable finance: a study visit to leading banks and fintech in Germany ». WSBI was honoured to gather a group of 22 participants representing 12 banks from the WSBI global network who were kindly hosted by six German organizations in the cities of Bonn, Frankfurt and Berlin for presentations on different aspects of ESG implementation. 

The five-day study visit commenced with a session centred on foundations and their various models. The host, Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation (Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation), which is a part of WSBI’s German member, DSGV, began by showcasing the Sparkasse model. The Managing Director of Sparkassenstiftung, Mr. Niclaus Bergmann, provided an overview of the numerous projects that the foundation has initiated worldwide to promote financial literacy, foster financial inclusion, and support the development of socially responsible banks globally. 

The afternoon was dedicated to the 49th WSBI-ESBG Corporate Social Responsibility Committe meeting, Chaired by Mr. Roland Tassler, Head of EU Office of the Österreichischer Sparkassenverband. WSBI-ESBG Managing Director, Mr. Peter Simon, gave the welcome message and participated in the exchange. The discussion was further enriched by the contribution of Mr. Darween Doraisingam, Head of Transformation & Sustainability at Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), Malaysia.  

The study visit then moved from the DSGV foundation’s headquarters in Bonn to Frankfurt, where participants had the opportunity to delve into the operations and sustainability initiatives of Deka Bank, Helaba, and WIBank. At Deka Bank, which serves as the central provider of asset management and capital market solutions for German savings banks, participants were introduced to the institution’s commitment to the preservation of artistic heritage, as well as its approach to sustainability and corporate governance.  

At Helaba, a central organization within the savings banks group responsible for offering financial services to larger companies and institutional investors, attendees learned about its approach to sustainable financing and its ongoing transformation towards a more sustainable future. 

The study visit then proceeded to its final destination in Berlin, where attendees had the opportunity to tour the offices of Raisin, a fintech startup, and learn about their innovative banking model, which allows investors to create fully customized ESG portfolios in line with their individual priorities and values.  

In addition to the many enlightening meetings, the study visit also served as an opportunity for networking, fostering a robust community of ESG professionals, and experiencing Germany’s vibrant cultural offerings and visiting historical sites. WSBI sincerely thanks all the organizations who kindly hosted this study visit and the remarkable group of member representatives who made it an extraordinary experience. 

With kind thanks to the exceptional participants of the study visit group (with alphabetical order) 

Colombia Fundación Grupo Social and Banco Caja Social Mr. Juan Carlos Gómez Villegas
Mr. Nicolás García Trujillo
Mr. Juan Francisco Sánchez Pérez
Mr. José Mauricio Cano Guzmán
Mr. Andrés Mauricio Nieto Bolívar
Cuba Banco Popular de Ahorro Ms. Patricia Buigas Mayor
Hungary OTP Bank plc Ms. Szilvia Gólya
Kenya Kenya Post Office Savings Bank Mr. Raphael Mingisian Lekolool
Malaysia Bank Simpanan Nasional Mr. Darween Doraisingam
Malta Bank of Valletta Mr. Ivan Gatt
Saudi Arabia Social Development Bank Mr. Faisal b.Bawazeer
Mr. Abdulmajeed A. Binrushaid
Senegal PosteFinances Mr. Abdoul Azizdiallo
Sweden Sparbankernas Riksförbund Ms. Caroline Wänglund
Tajikistan Amonatbonk Mr. Ikromi Sirojiddin Salom
Peru Caja Huancayo Mr. Eduardo A. Morales Ortiz
Caja Huancayo Ms. Karina N. Huayta Anyosa
Caja Huancayo Mr. Manuel H. Isique Barrera
Caja Huancayo Mr. Felipe J. Atoche Castillo
Caja Huancayo Ms. Rosa M. Asca Cordano
Caja Huancayo Mr. César Quispialaya Córdova
Zimbabwe People’s Own Savings Bank Mr. Wilbert Fungura