Tuesday, January 02, 2007

An Investment in Affordable Credit ... elsewhere

This past December 11th, Citizens Bank - a subsidiary of VanCity - announced the launch of their Shared World Term Deposit (SWTD).

This is how Citizens outlines the concept of the SWTD:
Your investment dollars help provide affordable credit to people in the world’s poorest communities, allowing them to educate their children, obtain secure housing for their families, develop micro and small businesses, and otherwise improve their quality of life.

Citizens is pooling the capital with the Calvert Social Investment Foundation. In short, Citizens piggybacks on Calvert to invest in below-market rates in international community loans funds that address poverty issues around the world. These community loan funds provide credit to help individuals and communities build assets and transform lives.

Here's a link to see the current (assume Q4 06) allocation of the capital. Without doubt, it's a blue ribbon inventory of laudable organizations.

Unfortunately missing from the information provided by Citizens Bank is any mention of the "spread on the yield". After all ... offering 3.70% (Dec 8th estimated yield) on a non-redeemable 12-month term deposit makes one wonder.

It remains to be seen whether the SWTD can capture the attention of RRSP savers like Ethical Funds. We hope it does, and opens opportunities to expand MicroFinance.

Maybe even in our backyard ...

--------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Economy, MicroCredit, MicroFinance


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