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The alternative savings account is the result of collaboration between Spuerkeess and etika asbl. It enables savers to support initiatives aimed at sustainable national and international development without financial risks and with total transparency. Savings funds are only converted into loans for projects that meet strict social and ecological criteria.
Savers enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their savings will only be used to finance projects that are compatible with their moral, philosophical or religious beliefs.Ekkehart Schmidt - etika
This means that their savings deposits are not used to finance projects they would not wish to fund, such as those in the defence or nuclear power industry.
At present, 1,125 savers have chosen to invest EUR 54 million in deposits to take advantage of the opportunity to lend transparently and according to strict criteria (as at 30 September 2018), twice as many as during the 2008 financial crisis.
While the interest relief generated by this mechanism is less important to larger companies than the image boost that they receive by being involved in an etika project, both factors are crucial for smaller companies.
Many companies regard the granting of interest relief by etika as recognition of their serious sustainability efforts.
The loan applications submitted by organisations (companies or projects) must meet at least one of the following criteria:
Subsidised projects range from organic farms and organisations involved in the distribution of organic products to producers of renewable energy such as KIOWATT, wind farms and water mills, innovative technologies such as hybrid buses or companies such as Ama Mundu that use nanotechnology to purify water, through to companies that reintegrate the unemployed or other disadvantaged groups into the labour market, such as Défi-job or Coopérations Wiltz.