PRESS RELEASE: International Financial Institutions Discuss the 5th Anniversary of the Equator Principles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

08 December 2008

On 11 and 12 December 2008 financial institutions from around the world, including the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, will meet in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Equator Principles. The event, which also marks the beginning of Itaú’s term as Chair of the Equator Principles Financial Institutions Steering Committee, will debate and present the achievements of the past five years and the challenges and prospects for the future. At the same time the adoption of the Equator Principles by the 8th South American bank will be formally announced.

The event will consist of four panels, each with a different theme, to give a general overview of the Equator Principles and their implementation. The economic and socio-environmental outlook for the Amazon region, as well as the issue of energy in a world undergoing climate change will be specific topics.

Among the debaters will be Motoko Aizawa, Head of the IFC’s Environment and Social Development Policies and Standards Department, Shawn Miller, Global Director of Socio-environmental Risk at Citigroup and Marcelo Battisti, Head of Credit and Socio-Environmental Risk Management at Itaú BBA and current Chair of the Equator Principles Financial Institutions Steering Committee;

“This event is an excellent forum for debate and gives us an opportunity to reflect on the future”, affirms Battisti. “There can be no doubt that the adoption of another South American bank highlights the need for emerging markets financial institutions to adopt best international practice to analyse the socio-environmental impact of their activities”.

Launched in 2003, the Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines in the financial industry to determine, assess and manage environmental and social risks in project financing. The Principles establish the need for a prior socio-environmental analysis of each project, the development of an action plan and certain contractual commitments on the part of the company requesting the financing, as well as independent audits to verify that the projects are complying with the agreed guidelines. Commitment to the Equator Principles is voluntary and applies to all new project financings globally with total project capital costs of US$10 million or more, and across all industry sectors. When the Principles were revised in 2006, they were extended to cover project-related consulting services.

Itaú, a very active member of the Equator Principles Financial Institutions Steering Committee and Working Groups, has been helped by its experience of being the first Brazilian bank, since 2000, to take socio-environmental considerations into account in the analysis of its project loans. In 2007, six projects, two classified as high risk and four as medium risk and of a total project investment of R$4.1 billion, were assessed against the Equator Principles and approved by Itaú BBA.

Itaú’s experience in applying the Principles and its socio-environmental criteria for approving project finance have been so successful that the Bank is now seen as a leader in South America and setting the benchmark for other financial institutions.

“This year, by sharing our experience, we helped Industrial Bank Co. take the decision to become the first Chinese bank to adopt the Principles and we are now providing support to the 8th South American bank to adopt” explains Battisti

Focus on Sustainability

As part of its socio-environmental commitment, Itaú introduced, at the end of 2007, a Socio-Environmental Risk Policy for granting credit to Itaú BBA and Itaú corporate clients with credit lines of more than R$5 million. Itaú Buen Ayre, Itaú Chile, Itaú Uruguay and Itaú Europa will develop and introduce their procedures and criteria for analysing credit by the end of 2009, taking into account the specific conditions in which the banks operate.

Currently Itaú tops the ranking (from the consultants Management & Excellence and the Latin Finance Magazine) of Latin American banks implementing the best corporate governance practices. In addition, Itaú is the only Latin American financial institution listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Indexes (DJSI), since its inception in 1999, and the Bovespa’s (São Paulo Stock Exchanges) Corporate Sustainability Index (ISE). This year Itaú won the A+ GRI Checked Award, granted by the Global Reporting Initiative, for its Annual Sustainability Report.