Vancity Community Investment Bank set to acquire CoPower as part of its large-scale impact finance business

  • Acquisition will combine strengths and create synergies in financing clean energy and social real estate sectors
  • 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 Credit/Toronto, ON, November 7, 2019 /CNW/ – Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB), from Canada leading values-based bank and subsidiary of Vancouver City Savings Credit Union (Vancity), today announced its intention to acquire CoPower Inc., from Canada leading sustainable investment platform and a leading provider of finance for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

This transaction will bring together two leaders in impact finance to accelerate investments in 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 available to retail investors – has positioned the company as an early leader in the domain from Canada impact finance landscape. This experience, combined with VCIB’s deep expertise in financing social purpose real estate, will now accelerate investments 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 sector can and should play a key role in enabling and shaping ambitious solutions” , said Jay-Ann Gilfoy, CEO, Vancity Community Investment Bank. “VCIB and CoPower have led the way; together we will form a powerful combination, giving Canadians more opportunities to leverage change.”

The in-house integration of CoPower’s team of sustainable finance experts will allow VCIB to expand its lending offerings to include clean energy and other green building initiatives. Additionally, CoPower’s online investing platform and unique focus on creating impact investing products for the retail market will enable the bank to unlock new sources of funding.

“We are thrilled to join the VCIB,” said David Berliner, Founder, CoPower. “Our mission has always been to move funds for the clean energy transition. As a subsidiary of VCIB, we will be able to better meet the needs of clean energy developers while offering a powerful range of investment products for investors looking to earn a strong return and support green, inclusive and affordable projects.”

VCIB is the only Canadian bank dedicated to working exclusively with organizations focused on driving a more sustainable future. Launched in 2017, VCIB builds on the decades of innovative experience of its parent company – Vancity – in using the tools of finance to generate profits and build healthy communities. In its first two years, VCIB used this model to enable businesses to make meaningful contributions in the areas of affordable housing, coworking 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. “Playing to our strengths with CoPower is not just about looking where the market is headed, but about shaping a financial system that puts communities first.”

CoPower has raised over $30 million for clean energy and energy efficiency projects which, to date, have avoided more than 12,000 tonnes of CO2e emissions, the equivalent of taking 2,548 cars off the road for one year.

This acquisition has undergone regulatory review and received approval from the Autorité des marchés 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 manage the existing green bond portfolio, as well as future clean energy business lines as a subsidiary of VCIB.

About Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB)
VCIB is a Ontario-based on schedule 1 national chartered bank. As from Canada As the 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 focuses primarily on social purpose real estate lending (affordable housing, housing co-ops, coworking spaces, green and heritage buildings), as well as the deposit needs of nonprofits, foundations and endowment funds. . As we grow and lean into digital technologies, we will be able to provide broader banking services to organizations that do good in the world. For more information, visithttps://vancitycommunityinvestmentbank.ca/.

About Vancity
Vancity is a values-based financial cooperative 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 peoples. With $27.4 billion in more active assets under administration, Vancity is from Canada largest community credit union. Vancity uses its assets to help improve the financial well-being of its members while helping to develop healthy communities that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

Land recognition
Our office is located on the lands of many indigenous nations. We unite our hearts and minds and recognize the traditional territory of many Indigenous Nations, especially the Haudenosaunee and the Treaty Territory of the Credit Mississaugas.

Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB)

For further information: Darren Roberts, A&C Inc., 778-987-8843, [email protected]; Nicole Hanley, A&C Inc., 416 605-1765, [email protected]

Jill E. Washington