KITCHENER, ON, Jan. 7, 2016 /CNW/ - Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) is pleased to announce they are the first Canadian financial institution to show that all of its GICs qualify as Socially Responsible Investments (SRI). Until now, the SRI approach to investing, which includes sustainable screens, has only been associated with mutual funds and market investments.
"We are thrilled to be a leader in SRI," said Brent Zorgdrager, Chief Executive Officer of MSCU. "Our commitment to our members is to continue to look for ways to offer values-based products that connect faith and values with finances, inspiring peaceful, just, and prosperous communities. Investments in the MSCU SRI GICs provide our members with the confidence that their funds support loans which clearly align with a sustainable, responsible view of their communities and the world."
Sustainalytics, a leading global provider of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and corporate governance research and ratings, helped MSCU develop a set of socially responsible lending criteria to incorporate into its agricultural and commercial lending practices. These criteria include screening business borrowers for any involvement in industries such as alcohol, tobacco, and gambling and for any significant negative impacts on the environment, human rights, or communities. Once the screens had been in place for six months, Sustainalytics carried out a review of MSCU's loan portfolio to validate compliance with the socially responsible criteria. Because these loans are funded by members' GIC deposits, the screens in place ensure the GICs are SRI compliant.
"MSCU's socially responsible GICs address a growing demand among individual investors considering the environmental and social impacts of their investments," said Sustainalytics' CEO Michael Jantzi. "MSCU has embedded socially responsible criteria into its lending processes in an innovative way and in doing so is providing individuals with greater access to SRI retail banking products, enabling them to align their investments with their values."
Responsible investing is playing an increasing part in the investments of Canadians. According to the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), the RI market comprises more than 30% of Canadian assets under management. "Many financial institutions, including MSCU, have offered Responsible Investment options but MSCU is leading the way by integrating environmental and social factors into all of their GICs. We're very excited to see them take this initiative," said Deb Abbey, RIA's Chief Executive Officer.
Eligible deposits in MSCU GICs are insured by the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO) up to a maximum of $100,000. For more information on deposit insurance, visit www.dico.com.
About Mennonite Savings and Credit Union
Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (MSCU) is a financial cooperative providing everyday banking services to over 20,000 members in communities across southern Ontario. It has more than $950 million in assets under administration and ranks 10th among credit unions in Ontario. MSCU has eight full-service branches and five sub-locations offering a complete range of daily banking, investment and loan products. For more information, visit www.mscu.com.
Sustainalytics is an independent ESG and corporate governance research, ratings and analysis firm supporting investors around the world with the development and implementation of responsible investment strategies. With 13 offices globally, Sustainalytics partners with institutional investors who integrate environmental, social and governance information and assessments into their investment processes. Today, the firm has 230 staff members, including more than 120 analysts with varied multidisciplinary expertise of more than 40 sectors. Sustainalytics was voted best independent responsible investment research firm for three consecutive years in Extel's global IRRI survey. For more information, visit www.sustainalytics.com.
The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is Canada's membership association for Responsible Investment (RI). Members include mutual fund companies, financial institutions, asset management firms, advisors, consultants, investment research firms, asset owners, individual investors and others interested in RI. Our members believe that the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the selection and management of investments can provide superior risk adjusted returns and positive societal impact. For more information, visit www.riacanada.ca.
SOURCE Mennonite Savings and Credit Union
Image with caption: "Mennonite Savings and Credit Union (CNW Group/Mennonite Savings and Credit Union)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160107_C6964_PHOTO_EN_593351.jpg
For further information: Veronica Feldcamp, Director, Marketing, Mennonite Savings and Credit Union, 519.772.5233, firstname.lastname@example.org; Melissa Chase, Marketing Specialist, Sustainalytics, 647.317.3646, email@example.com; Dustyn Lanz, Director, Member Relations & Communications, Responsible Investment Association, 416.461.6042 ext.3, firstname.lastname@example.org