GLS Bank is the first ethical-ecological bank in Germany. The bank was founded in 1974 and currently over 4.000 projects aiming towards the future are financed. GLS stands for Community bank for Loans and Gifts. In focus are cultural, social and ecological initiatives, initiated by people, and not anonymous interest seeking capital or maximum profit. The bank works with transparency and thus all the credit projects, together with information on the development of the bank itself, is published in the magazine "Bankspiegel". The GLS Bank transfers their depositors' money as loans to independent schools and kindergardens, ecological farms, curative- and social-therapeutical initiatives, projects for the unemployed, health-food-stores and communal living-projects, as well as commercial projects. The actuell balance is 770 million EUR. Offers from the GLS Bank are among others:
GLS Savings Accounts
GLS Savings Certificates
GLS Future Accounts
When deposits are made with a low interest GLS Bank is able to grant loans to certain projects with an interest that only covers the basic loan administration costs of the bank (in 2007 3.4 % p.a.). The successful work of the bank has been enormously supported by more than 13.000 cooperative members who have subscribed for shares. The GLS Bank has its Head Office in Bochum and has established branches in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Freiburg and Hamburg. GLS Bank is cooperating closely with the GLS Treuhand e.V. Bochum and the GLS Beteiligungsaktiengesellschaft. The bank is part of the german "Bundesverband der Deutschen Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken" and their guarantee system for depositors money. The GLS Treuhand e.V. (Charitable Trust Foundation), founded in 1961, is an association of more than 370 charity organizations. The GLS Treuhand e.V. has gained comprehensive experience in the structuring of donations, large fortunes and dealing with wills and estates. Fundraising and consulting in the field of private legacies as well as the transfomation of business into charitable capital are its main areas of activity. At present a major emphasis is also put on the sector of small private donations.