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History

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While BankTrack has formally existed since early 2004, it is founded on activities that started already back in 1996. This overview tracks the roots of BankTrack.

2015

  • Early 2015. BankTrack dissolves its formal network structure. The former secretariat of the network reinvents itself as an independent tracking, campaigning and NGO support organisation, working closely not only with many of its former members but also with many new working partners on a range of campaigns

2014

  • At the end of 2014 we conduct an extensive internal discussion with our membership on how BankTrack can best adapt itself to changing circumstances in both funder support and changing NGO cooperation habits; the result is a plan, BankTrack 2015, that sets out a new course for the future
  • In November Banktrack launches a report on the human rights performance of private sector banks
  • In September we launched a new website, www.coalbanks.org, exposing the role of private sector banks financing the coal industry
  • Early 2014, following a training meeting with the European environmental Paper Network we launched a new workstream focused on the role of Banks financing the palm oil and pulp & paper sectors.

2013
  • Early February, BankTrack held its strategy meeting at the imposing castle of Diez, Germany
  • Five new organisations join the network: the Australian finance campaign group Market Forces; the German Facing Finance; campaign, the UK's World Development Movement; the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES); and the London Mining Network.

2012

  • In June, during the Rio+20 climate conference, BankTrack issues a highly critical statement on the Natural Capital Declaration.
  • The "Building BankTrack in BRICs" project sees BankTrack conduct training sessions to build NGO capacity for tracking banks in Brazil, China and Russia.
  • Greenovation Hub from China joins the BankTrack network.
  • BankTrack comments on the draft Equator Principles update (EPIII) in its report, Tiny Steps Forward.

2011

2010

  • In September 2010 a climate coordinator joins the secretariat.
  • In June the Palestinian organization BDS Movement joins BankTrack.
  • In May BankTrack launches a new website on nuclear energy and banks: http://www.nuclearbanks.org.
  • Also in May, the research report ‘Close the Gap' is launched, in which bank policies of 49 internationally operating banks are scored. 
  • In January BankTrack holds a strategy meeting in Zurich, Switzerland.
  • Also in January BankTrack launches an open letter, signed by over 100 civil society organizations, urging Equator Principles banks to take ‘bold steps forward'.

2009

2008

  • In November, BankTrack holds a strategy meeting in El Escorial, Spain.
  • In May, the BankTrack secretariat moves its offices from Utrecht to Nijmegen.

2007

2006

  • In July, CEDHA from Argentina joined BankTrack network as members.
  • In January, BankTrack secretariat moves to a bigger office in Utrecht.

2005

  • In February, two new members joined BankTrack at 1st formal network meeting in Zurich, Switzerland. The BankTrack network counts 14 members.
  • In January, BankTrack opens secretariat in Utrecht, Netherlands.

2004

  • In September, BankTrack establishes an independent foundation to act as legal entity to represent the BankTrack network.
  • In June, BankTrack publishes its 1st anniversary assessment of the Equator Principles.
  • In January, twelve civil society organizations launch a new network under the name of BankTrack.

2003

  • The Quantum Leap project merges with the Netherlands based Focus on Finance (FoF) research project, coordinated by Dutch consultant firm AIDEnvironment.
  • In October, a meeting of finance campaigners in Netherlands takes place. The Focus on Finance project is remodelled as an NGO network with an advocacy mission. FoF hires a full time coordinator to oversee development of this network.
  • In June, ten major banks launch the Equator Principles. FoF members active before and during launch, become prime target of work.
  • In January, release of the Collevecchio Declaration at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Some Collevecchio signatory organizations engage with private banks on draft principles for project finance.

2002

  • Meeting of NGO campaigners in the Italian village of Collevecchio to draft the first civil society statement on the role of financial sector and sustainability. Over 100 civil society organizations sign up to it.

2000-2002

  • Private banks increasingly begin to feel the pressure of civil society. NGOs start highly visible campaigns on projects co-financed by private banks, such as the OCP pipeline in Ecuador, the Chad Cameroon oil pipeline, the Camisea gas project in Peru and the financing of oil palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia.

1998-2000

  • The Quantum Leap project conducts training in three continents.

1997

  • Start of the Quantum Leap project, a project of Friends of the Earth and the National Wildlife Federation in the US. The aim of the project is to train campaigners so they become financially literate and are able to influence the private financial sector. The project's newsletter 'The Bull and the Bear' informs the financial sector on civil society concerns.

1996

  • US activists realised there was a need to focus on private financial institutions within international development operations, in addition to work on IFIs such as the World Bank.
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@sleeplessdriver Surplus Indian coal for export (to Rampal) looks like just one of the reasons @UNESCO
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