Search results

1 – 10 of over 8000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Sarah Lenz and Sighard Neckel

German ethical banks have experienced a significant increase in customers, deposits, and lending. They aim to establish a fairer banking system. But the simultaneous…

Abstract

German ethical banks have experienced a significant increase in customers, deposits, and lending. They aim to establish a fairer banking system. But the simultaneous pursuit of social, ecological, and economic goals leaves them vulnerable to conflicting orders of worth. The authors examine the normative foundations that ethical bank employees refer to when they describe their everyday practices and identify the specific problems that arise from negotiating between moral principles and economic demands to provide insights into the impacts, constraints, and paradoxes of normatively oriented business practices. Drawing on the theoretical framework of the sociology of critique, the authors assume that moral categories, social processes of interpretation, and justification are an essential part of markets. Ethical banking is characterized by the need to meet both market-limiting and market-expanding requirements, and this particularly becomes contentious when dealing with economic growth. By analyzing ethical banks’ freely accessible documents, the authors first outline the institutional guidelines. In a second step, the authors analyze 27 qualitative interviews with employees of ethical banks to gain insights into everyday lending practices and action-guiding normative orientations. The goal of this chapter is to examine the tensions that may arise from applying normative guidelines under the condition of increasing economic requirements and to disclose the way that ethical banks negotiate between mechanisms of expansion and limitation. The analysis of this chapter points out a paradox of ethical banking: due to the banks’ economic expansion, investments corresponding to their ethical commitments tend to become a luxury they cannot afford.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2009

Richard Rosenberg, Adrian Gonzalez and Sushma Narain

Over the past two decades, institutions that make microloans to low-income borrowers in developing and transition economies have focused increasingly on making their…

Abstract

Over the past two decades, institutions that make microloans to low-income borrowers in developing and transition economies have focused increasingly on making their lending operations financially sustainable by charging interest rates that are high enough to cover all their costs. They argue that doing so will best ensure the permanence and expansion of the services they provide. Sustainable (i.e., profitable) microfinance providers can continue to serve their clients without needing ongoing infusions of subsidies and can fund exponential growth of services for new clients by tapping commercial sources, including deposits from the public.

Details

Moving Beyond Storytelling: Emerging Research in Microfinance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-682-3

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Angela Lieu and Dangzhi Zhao

This paper aims to identify patterns, trends and potential implications related to post-checkout non-usage (material that is checked out by a user, but subsequently never…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify patterns, trends and potential implications related to post-checkout non-usage (material that is checked out by a user, but subsequently never opened and/or downloaded) of library digital content.

Design/methodology/approach

A large urban Canadian public library’s data (2013-2017) from Rakuten OverDrive was analyzed. Pending items (items that are checked out, but neither opened nor downloaded) were compared with total checkouts to determine post-checkout non-usage rates.

Findings

Checkouts and overall rates of post-checkout non-usage of e-books and e-audiobooks have risen significantly and consistently. Juvenile and non-fiction e-books demonstrate higher post-checkout non-usage rates than adult and fiction e-books, respectively. The library spends up to US$10,700 per year on metered access e-books that are never opened by users. This number has grown significantly over the years.

Originality/value

E-materials in libraries have been growing rapidly, but their current lending models are still largely a direct application of concepts in traditional library services that have developed based on physical materials, such as checkouts, due dates, renewals, holds and wait times. However, e-materials do not have the limitation of physical materials that prevents other users from accessing a checked-out item, which makes many of the traditional concepts no longer applicable. New concepts and lending models should be developed that allow users to access any library e-materials at any time, and are financially functional and sustainable for both libraries and e-content providers.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 11 September 2007

Savita Shankar

Existing literature indicates that transaction costs are a major contributor to high interest rates on microcredit loans. The purpose of the study was to examine the…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing literature indicates that transaction costs are a major contributor to high interest rates on microcredit loans. The purpose of the study was to examine the composition of transaction costs to be able to draw implications on how lending rates in microcredit could be reduced in a sustainable manner.

Design/methodology/approach

As the study required in‐depth insights on the processes being followed within a micro finance institution (MFI), the case study method was used. Three established MFIs mainly engaged in microcredit – using group‐lending model – were studied.

Findings

The results of the study indicate that the key drivers of direct transaction costs are field worker compensation and number of groups handled per field worker. Collection activity is the single largest contributor.

Research limitations/implications

Generalisations based on the case studies should be done with caution.

Practical implications

It is suggested that MFIs, in order to reduce direct transaction costs, increase the number of groups per square kilometer. In order to reduce indirect costs, MFIs should minimize the number of layers of fixed costs in their system and examine alternative revenue‐generating activities that can be undertaken with minimal incremental costs. Policymakers need to take into account transaction costs when examining the interest rates charged by MFIs. The regional variation in transaction costs that the study has found is an important factor that suggests that no uniform view can be taken on the rates charged by MFIs in different regions.

Originality/value

No other studies have focused on transaction costs of a microfinance institution in India.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 45 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 6 August 2019

Munacinga Simatele and Phindile Dlamini

The purpose of this paper is to probe whether the quest for sustainability in financial social enterprise institutions leads to mission drift. Both formal and informal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to probe whether the quest for sustainability in financial social enterprise institutions leads to mission drift. Both formal and informal institutions play an important role as interventions to promote inclusion. They struggle between an explicit social mission and the implicit quest for sustainability. The debate remains on whether such organisations can achieve financial sustainability without compromising outreach.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses interviews and focus group discussions in nine different hybrid organisations involved in providing different types of financial services in Swaziland.

Findings

The results suggest that smaller and informal enterprises tend to have less mission drift. Their risk mitigation and management approaches such as group liability and use of traditional governance structures are more adapted to the characteristics of the groups served. The modus operandi of larger enterprises tends to mimic mainstream lenders with risk mitigation measures that are inherently unsustainable for this type of market.

Research limitations/implications

Sustainability in financial enterprises requires new contextualised models of risk management and client selection more appropriate for excluded groups. Moreover, using group lending as a measure of outreach maybe flawed. Other forms of social capital can be used to increase outreach even in the absence of group lending. The perceived trade-off between commercial gain and outreach is somewhat complex. Mission drift seems to depend on the capital structure.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to an infant but important debate on how sustainability can be achieved without compromising outreach in financial institutions designed to increase financial inclusion.

Details

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4179

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

David Lorenz and Thomas Lützkendorf

The purpose of this paper is to explain the rationale for integrating sustainability issues into property valuation theory and practice and to provide initial suggestions…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the rationale for integrating sustainability issues into property valuation theory and practice and to provide initial suggestions for valuers on how to account for sustainability issues within valuation reports.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors emphasise the key role of valuation professionals and of the valuation process itself in achieving a broader market penetration of sustainable construction. It is explained that, on the one hand, property valuation represents the major mechanism to align economic return with environmental and social performance of property assets, and thus to express and communicate the advantages and benefits of sustainable buildings. On the other hand, it is explained that gradual changes in market participants' perceptions in favour of sustainable buildings must be reflected within the property valuation and associated risk assessment process (otherwise valuers would produce misleading price estimates). The authors identify both the financial benefits and risk reduction potential of sustainable design as well as valuation input parameters that would allow these benefits to be reflected in property price estimates.

Findings

The authors show that the main reasons for immediately and rigorously integrating sustainability issues into property valuation are as follows: more sustainable patterns of behaviour are urgently necessary to sustain the viability of the Earth's ecosystems; a huge untapped market potential exists for sustainable property investment products and consulting services; sustainable buildings clearly outperform their conventional competitors in all relevant areas (i.e. environmentally, socially and financially); neglecting the benefits of sustainable design leads to distorted price estimates; and reflecting sustainability issues in property price estimates is already possible and the validity of this decision depends solely on the valuer's capability and sophistication to explain and justify his/her assumptions within the valuation report. However, it is also shown that efforts need to be undertaken to improve the description of property assets in transaction databases in order to provide the informational databases necessary to empirically underpin a valuer's decision to assign a “valuation bonus” to a sustainable building or a “valuation reduction” to an unsustainable/conventional one.

Originality/value

The paper postulates that valuation reports should be extended to include the following additional elements: a clear description of the availability of certain sustainability‐related property characteristics and attributes; a statement of the valuer's opinion about the benefits of these characteristics and attributes; and a statement of the valuer's opinion about the impact of these benefits and/or risks on property value.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Expert briefing
Publication date: 26 September 2017

Prospects for the South-east Asian green bond market.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 21 September 2010

Richard Macve and Xiaoli Chen

The equator principles constitute an international voluntary code developed by banks to encourage consideration of environmental and social issues in project financing…

Abstract

Purpose

The equator principles constitute an international voluntary code developed by banks to encourage consideration of environmental and social issues in project financing. Such codes can flexibly bridge the gap between individual companies' sustainability initiatives and mandatory, legal regulation. However, concerns continue to be expressed that the equator principles reporting of banks is not fully satisfactory, so the aim of this paper is to investigate both the nature of the success and the shortcomings of equator principles reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on academic literature on motivations for corporate social responsibility and various publications by non‐government organisations and professional accounting and legal organisations, together with analysis of the disclosures made by Barclays and HSBC. In addition, access was gained for semi‐structured interviews with some senior executives/consultants.

Findings

While the voluntary equator principles initiative has been remarkably successful in matching banks' strategic motivation, the environmental benefit may primarily be a by‐product of the risk management processes of banks, consistent with enlightened shareholder theory. This does not mean the environmental benefits may not be real but, without more detailed project‐level disclosure and a standardised performance evaluation system, it is difficult to measure the extent to which the equator principles have had a positive effect on the environment.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to gauge how the equator principles impact front‐line decision making. There could usefully be further standardisation of equator principles reporting formats, with more detail about project‐level implementation. With respect to reports of external assurers, it remains an open question as to whether these should be made compulsory, subject to further specification of the independence and competence standards.

Originality/value

The study helps to illuminate the effectiveness of a voluntary code such as the equator principles in the social construction of how enlightened shareholder theory is to be interpreted and implemented. It makes an initial response to recent calls by Bebbington et al. and Adams for further empirical corporate social responsibility research and more direct engagement with organisations.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 23 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 23 May 2019

Maria J. Nieto

This paper aims to quantify the (syndicated) loan exposure to elevated environmental risk sectors of the banking system in the USA, EU, China, Japan and Switzerland at…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to quantify the (syndicated) loan exposure to elevated environmental risk sectors of the banking system in the USA, EU, China, Japan and Switzerland at US$1.6tn and to highlight its importance, which ranges from 3.8 (USA) to 0.5 per cent (China) in terms of total national banking assets. The paper highlights the relevance of exploring prudential policy responses, including a harmonized taxonomy, statistical and reporting framework that could contribute to internalizing the negative externalities associated with climate risks by both banks and their supervisors. Among the prudential supervisory tools, credit registers facilitate the assessment of environmental risk drivers in “carbon stress tests.” This paper also presents a framework of analysis for the regulatory treatment of climate-related risks.

Design/methodology/approach

Similarly to Weyzig et al. (2014), this paper uses financial databases on the banks’ role as book runners for syndicated loans; that is, as the lead arrangers who also provide a large share of the actual lending. Loans are outstanding on December 31, 2014, and the paper assumes linear amortization of loans issued before that date and with maturity after that date. This study includes the largest banks from the above-mentioned countries with financial information available in SNL Financial and EU banks with financial information available in the ECB database on December 31, 2014. By assessing the relative share of the ten largest (or total reporting if less) banks’ exposure to each high environmental risk sector in relation to their total assets, these findings can be extrapolated across sectors in the respective country.

Findings

This paper quantifies the loan exposure to elevated environmental risk sectors of the banking system in the USA, EU, China, Japan and Switzerland in US$1.6tn, broadly in line with the findings of Battiston et al. (2017) and Weyzig et al. (2014). This paper also explores prudential policy approaches and tools. In addition to the lack of taxonomy of “brown” vs “green,” the paper identifies the limitations to assess the risks involved in the transition to a low-carbon economy: supervisory reports that do not make full use of the existing international statistical framework (e.g. EU COREP and FINREP); lack of harmonized reporting requirements of environmental risks; lack of credit registers as tools to perform carbon stress-testing; and supervisors’ governance framework that do not internalize environmental risks (e.g. proposed revision of the Basel Core Principles of Banking Supervision). As per the stress-testing, the paper presents two examples. The paper presents a framework of analysis for the regulatory treatment of climate-related risks. The author identifies two critical elements of such framework if prudential regulation of environmental risks is to be considered: the consideration or not of climate risk as credit risk and the impact of environmental risks over probabilities of default over the entire business cycle.

Research limitations/implications

No internationally accepted “official” taxonomy of high environmental risk sectors exists. This paper uses Moody’s (2015a) classification of sectors according to their environmental risk exposure. This paper’s exposures do not reflect the real risk exposure of these institutions and the banking industry as a whole because, as explained in Page 6, these values are without regard to bilateral loans and guarantees and securitizations of loans; in the case of loans to power generation companies, renewable sources are not excluding and, similarly, for the production of electric vehicles, loans are not excluded. Furthermore, this paper does not assess banks’ exposures to sovereigns subject to high environmental risks and bonds and equity issued by corporations operating in high environmental risk sectors.

Practical implications

Contribution to the present policy debate on how to regulate banks’ exposure to high environmental risk and how to manage the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Social implications

This paper can increase awareness of the banking sector transition risks to a low-carbon economy.

Originality/value

This paper quantifies banks direct exposures to high environmental risk sectors using an ample definition of sectors exposed to environmental risk. The author suggests policy actions to assess the environmental risks. The author defines a regulatory framework for banks to internalize the negative externalities of environmental risks.

Details

Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1358-1988

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 5 November 2015

Manuel Wörsdörfer

The Equator Principles are a transnational corporate social responsibility initiative in the project finance sector. In 2013, the Equator Principles Association celebrated…

Abstract

The Equator Principles are a transnational corporate social responsibility initiative in the project finance sector. In 2013, the Equator Principles Association celebrated the tenth anniversary of its principles and at the same time the formal launch of the latest generation of the Equator Principles (EP III). The paper describes the historic development of the Equator Principles – from the initial drafting process in the early 2000s up to the latest review process which led to the third generation of the Equator Principles. The paper also analyzes the current state of affairs of the Equator Principles (Association) and gives a brief outlook on potential lines of (future) development. In particular, the paper deals with the following questions: What are the main characteristics of the Equator Principles framework? What are the relevant actors involved in the drafting and reviewing process? Why are the EPs and other organizational and associational codes of conduct in the finance sector so important? What has been achieved so far by the Equator Principles (Association) and the participating (financial) institutions and what remains to be done?

1 – 10 of over 8000