On October 18 in Nanterre, at the headquarters of Crédit Coopératif, a Conference took place to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Federation.
The event was opened with a warm welcome by Crédit Coopératif’s President Jean-Louis Bancel and Crédit Coopératif’s Director Christine Jacglin, who then gave the stage to representatives of the founding members of the Federation: Jean-Claude Detilleux, Jean Paul Vigier, Karol Sachs et Jacky Blanc, who with their experience and passion told the story of the birth of FEBEA, "when utopia became a concrete project."
But it was not only a moment of commemoration. The representatives of the founding members, during the roundtable moderated by Bernard Horenbeek (CREDAL), wanted to give their opinion on the current members of the Federation and on how to improve and promote the dissemination of social finance in Europe and at the international level. "The imagination of ethical finance has no limits, and the main role of FEBEA is to explain how each understands and practices ethical finance". Incumbent President Salviato concluded the meeting by talking about the Federation’s future, stressing the need to deepen relations among FEBEA members more concretely, by creating common tools to meet the needs, and continuing to have a vision and the courage to follow the way while facing the challenges.
The second part of the morning was dedicated to a discussion with the members, moderated by Cyrille Langendorff (CREDIT COOPERATIF), on the way to improve the capital of ethical banks and financial institutions, a very important issue in the current circumstances, where some members of the Federation, represented by Etienne Bonvin (BAS), Stefano Boffini (CASSA PADANA), Zoran Besak and Kresimir Prevendar (EBANKA) made comprehensive presentations dealing with their experiences and solutions in their context. SEFEA, the operational tool of the Federation, represented by Giacomo Pinaffo, outlined possible useful tools.
The afternoon was open to the public, and many representatives of international organizations joined FEBEA members to participate in the discussion moderated by Dominique Lesaffre (SIDI): "How can ethical finance provide solutions to local needs?". After the introduction made by Frédéric Toussaint (CREDIT COOPERATIF) and Daniel Sorrosal (FEBEA), speakers Dirk Vansintjan (RESCOOP), Fanny Gerome (FRANCE ACTIVE), Ann Branch (DG EMPL), Geneviève Guénard (CCFD-TERRE SOLIDAIRE) and Emmanuel Verny (SEE) discussed the expectations of the social, ecological, financial and policy world in relation to ethical finance, as well as the solutions that ethical finance can bring. In particular, the speakers stressed the importance of defining regulations that take into account the specific characteristics of the players in the ethical and solidarity finance, and the importance of developing non-financial services, such as support services.
Ms. Laurence Scialom, professor and researcher at Nanterre University, closed the afternoon highlighting the differences between "mainstream" and ethical banks, emphasizing the role of the ethical banks in the process of "finance re-appropriation by citizens". Biodiversity, concluded Ms. Scialom, is not required only in the biological world, but also in the financial world.