Ekobanken is a members’ bank founded in 1998, the result of a process begun when some savings associations merged in the early 1980s. At present, the bank works with private persons, organisations and companies, offering a range of accounts with different terms and conditions.
Ekobanken is ruled by a board of representatives (delegates) elected at the Annual General Meeting each year. This board consists of up to 25 regular members and up to 9 deputies, elected to serve the members and the board by giving advice and creating norms on questions of principle. No single shareholder can vote for more than the equivalent of 10% of those shares that are represented at the annual meeting.
In accordance with its rules, Ekobanken focuses on the negotiation and disbursement of credits that promote a healthy development of free initiatives that benefit the public. As a result, the organization appraises the goals of the requested loans from the perspective of credit rating as well as from ethical, social, and environmental aspects.
Persons who have Ekobanken accounts can chose to spread their money over the range of loans given, or to have it lent for specific projects supporting: ecology(alternative energy, ecological and biodynamic food products and also ecological advice and research), culture, health care (alternative forms of treatment, care of the disabled), activities that support people who want to change their lives, fair trade (production and trade that meets the requirements for sustainable development) or even local development (through Västra Götaland, an account for regional purposes). All loans and credits to organizations and companies are published so there is transparency in the bank’s spending practices as well as to inspire people willing to take initiatives.