This will be the first acquisition of an impact investment firm by a Canadian bank
Traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations, including the Haudenosaunee and the treaty territory of The Mississaugas of the Credit/Toronto, ON–Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), Canada’s first values-driven bank and a subsidiary of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity), today announced plans to acquire CoPower Inc., Canada’s first sustainable investment platform and a leading provider of financing to clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
This transaction will bring together two leaders in impact finance to accelerate investment in the critical areas of affordability and climate change for communities across the country. CoPower’s unique model of financing community-scale clean energy and energy efficiency projects – through Green Bonds made accessible to retail investors – positioned the company as an early leader in Canada’s impact finance landscape. That experience, combined with VCIB’s deep expertise in financing social purpose real estate, will now accelerate investment in affordable and sustainable communities.
“Climate change and housing affordability are two of the most critical challenges facing our communities, and we believe the financial industry can and should play a key role in enabling and shaping ambitious solutions,” said Jay-Ann Gilfoy, Chief Executive Officer, Vancity Community Investment Bank. “VCIB and CoPower have been leading the way; together we will make a powerful combination, giving Canadians more opportunities to bank on change.”
Bringing CoPower’s team of sustainable finance experts in-house will allow VCIB to expand its loan offerings to include clean energy and other green building initiatives. In addition, CoPower’s online investment platform and unique focus on creating impact investment products for the retail market will provide capacity to unlock new funding sources for the bank.
“We’re thrilled to be joining VCIB,” said David Berliner, Founder, CoPower. “Our mission has always been to move money for the clean energy transition. As a subsidiary of VCIB, we’ll be able to better serve the needs of clean energy developers while delivering a powerful range of investment products for investors looking to earn a strong return, and supporting projects that are green, inclusive and affordable.”
VCIB is the only Canadian bank dedicated to working exclusively with organizations focused on driving a more sustainable future. Launched in 2017, VCIB draws on its parent company’s – Vancity – decades of innovative experience in using the tools of finance to both generate profits and build healthy communities. In its first two years, VCIB has used this model to enable companies to make significant contributions in the areas of affordable housing, co-working, and social purpose real estate. By acquiring CoPower, VCIB is now the first Canadian bank to acquire an impact investment firm.
“VCIB exists because we need a different kind of bank to enable a future that serves all Canadians,” said Jake Stacey, Vice President, Impact Banking, VCIB. “Joining forces with CoPower is not just about looking to where the market is heading, but about shaping a financial system that puts communities first.”
CoPower has raised more than $30 million for clean energy and energy efficiency projects that to-date have avoided more than 12,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions – the equivalent of 2,548 cars taken off the road for one year.
This acquisition was subject to regulatory review and has received approval from the Autorité des marches financiers and the Minister of Finance under the Bank Act. Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close later this month. CoPower’s management team will continue to run the existing Green Bond portfolio, as well as future clean energy lines of business as a subsidiary of VCIB.
About Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB)
VCIB is an Ontario-based schedule 1 national chartered bank. As Canada’s first values-driven bank, VCIB is committed to partnering exclusively with organizations that are focused on driving positive social, environmental and economic change. The bank’s first focus is on lending for social purpose real estate (affordable housing, co-op housing, co-working spaces, green and heritage buildings), as well as meeting the deposit needs of not-for-profit organizations, foundations and endowments. As we grow and lean into digital technologies, we will be able to provide broader banking services to organizations that are doing good for the world. For more information, visit https://vancitycommunityinvestmentbank.ca/.
Vancity is a values-based financial co-operative serving the needs of its more than 534,000 member-owners and their communities, with offices and 59 branches located in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, Victoria, Squamish and Alert Bay, within the unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Kwakwaka’wakw people. With $27.4 billion in assets plus assets under administration, Vancity is Canada’s largest community credit union. Vancity uses its assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while at the same time helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.