The Palmas Bank was founded in 1998 in the Conjunto Palmeiras (50.000 inhabitants), a Fortaleza slum, in the Brazilian nordeste. It is the combination of a complementary currency (today accepted by the 97% of shops and supermarkets in the Conjunto) and a social bank (whose activity is focussed on productive microcredit). They were the pioneers in the creation of community banks in Brazil, setting up a national network that today brings together more than 20 similar experiences.
Recently, they were recognised by the public sector as a tool for development and against exclusion and poverty.
http://www.bancopalmas.org.br – Official website
http://www.bancopalmas.org.br/oktiva.net/1235/secao/9963 – National Network of Community Banks of Brazil
Related articles: The Working World, in Buenos Aires, Argentina.