Guyana Bank to offer 'green loans'

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Thursday December 30, 2010 – One of Guyana’s leading banks is getting in on the government’s efforts to take the country on a “green” path, as it begins to offer special loan packages for low carbon projects and services.

Energy saving and solar powered appliances and devices as well as solar and wind projects will be among those that will benefit from the Green Loan facility at the Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (GBTI). 

The announcement came yesterday as the bank opened a GUY$700 million (US$3.4 million) branch.

Chairman of the bank’s Board, Robin Stoby, said that under the special loan facility, the interest rate will be eight to 11 percent per year with a maximum repayment period of five years. He said the bank would offer special concessions as well.

President Bharrat Jagdeo said GBTI’s move is commendable, given the benefits of the green economy to the creation of wealth in Guyana and the country’s exemption from capping emissions.

“Although we are not required by any global agreement to cap our emission levels which are extremely low compared to the developed countries of the world…yet GBTI has seen it fit to launch a series of instruments that will promote greener policies here,” he said.

During yesterday’s ceremony, GBTI’s Chief Executive Officer John Tracy revealed that the bank will also launch a trade financial facility, in partnership with the private arm of the World Bank (WB) – the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) – on January 24 next year.

The facility was approved after the IFC undertook a rigorous examination of GBTI’s balance sheet over a lengthy period. The IFC intends to host a seminar to explain the way in which Guyanese businesses can maximize use of the facility.

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