Exactly one year ago, on 22 September 2019, more than 130 banks in the presence of the UN Secretary General signed the first-ever global sustainability framework for the banking industry: the UN Principles for Responsible Banking. Signatories commit to align their business strategy and practice with the Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Banking sector stakeholders such as banking associations, investors, regulators/policymakers and civil society organizations have been encouraged to support the signatory banks in their efforts by endorsing the Principles of Responsible Banking as Stakeholder Endorsers. As a Stakeholder Endorser, banking sector stakeholders demonstrate their commitment to a more sustainable banking sector, and to maximizing the positive benefits of this commitment to their own institutions and to society-at-large.
DDCAP Limited, as a member of the DDCAP GroupTM, proudly became a Stakeholder Endorser of the Principles for Responsible Banking in April 2020. As a Stakeholder Endorser, DDCAP has committed to promote the Principles for Responsible Banking within its networks, support the implementation of the Principles of Responsible Banking, and encourage banks to become signatories.
To mark today’s 1-year anniversary, the coalition of signatories and stakeholder endorsers is sharing their progress and experiences as they have taken the first steps to far-reaching change. Through a series of short videos and online stories, employees from the banks as well as stakeholder endorsers are sharing their experiences and views regarding the change achieved in the first 12-months. They talk about the change the Principles have guided within their own bank and for the banking industry as a whole; how working as a coalition has helped banks in this implementation phase, and how the Principles and the community of signatories have helped them effectively support their clients and communities through the COVID 19 crisis.
One year on, the number of signatories has grown to nearly 200 banks that collectively look after the business of more than 1.6 billion customers worldwide and represent around 40% of global banking assets. The coalition has put in place robust accountability mechanisms involving civil society. This includes individual and collective progress review processes, as well as a process for dealing with signatories who fail to deliver on their commitments. The new governance body, the Banking Board, will oversee the effective implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking. To ensure the credibility and relevance of the framework, a body made up of members of civil society is being established to help monitor collective progress and advise the Banking Board on strategic matters.
Complementing robust accountability with support, guidance and collaboration, each bank’s effective implementation of the Principles will be supported with tailored guidance and feedback through the individual review process. Most importantly, to develop the resources to implement the Principles and learn from each other, over 300 staff members from 125 banks have joined working groups that have been meeting since June.
The new framework, which has been designed for banks large or small, and at any stage on their journey to sustainability came not a minute too soon. The COVID-19 pandemic, which took hold just as banks were starting to implement the Principles, has served to highlight how reliant society’s health and prosperity is on healthy ecosystems and resilient economies.
Banks that are signatories to the Principles have stepped up to support their customers and local economies and many have reported that the changes that they have put in place to implement the Principles have helped them respond to the ensuing crisis and guided them as they build back better.
The next steps in the process of implementing the Principles for Responsible Banking will be the first report in November on the Collective Commitment to Climate Action, a group of 38 banks who have made ambitious commitments on implementing the Paris Climate Agreement. From 2021, UNEP FI will annually review each bank’s reporting against the requirements set out in the official Principles for Responsible Banking Framework documents: the Key Steps to be Implemented by Signatories and Reporting and Self-Assessment Template. The banks will provide their first public report on collective progress from 2021.
Stella Cox CBE, DDCAP Managing Director, said “As a financial services intermediary, DDCAP recognizes that it can be an industry influencer that makes an impact through its demonstration of values, expressions of duty of care and considered thought leadership. As a Stakeholder Endorser of the Principles for Responsible Banking, we have committed to highlight the importance of the Principles and promote it through the regions and markets in which we regularly do business as well as within the organisations in which we are active.
To us at DDCAP, a sustainable and responsible banking and finance industry means a way of doing business which focuses on delivering not only financial results but also social and environmental outcomes. It’s about how we make our own commitment to developing a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous world, which in our view now has even greater meaning in light of the disparities and difficulties that the current global crisis has exposed.”
To watch the videos, and find out more about the progress one year on, please go to: www.unepfi.org/prb-year-one-update
Hear directly from CEOs of the signatory banks at two upcoming events:
13 October, 12.50 CEST | UNEP FI’s Global Roundtable 2020
Join a virtual panel discussion: Banking for the Sustainable Development Goals
With panellists including: Guy Cormier, CEO, Desjardins Group, Arshad Mohamed Ismail, CEO, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia, Joshua Oigara, CEO, KCB Group, Fabian Kon, CEO, Banco Galicia, Robert Swaak, CEO, ABN Amro
Headquartered in London, DDCAP Group™ (DDCAP) has pioneered Sharia’a compliant intermediation services, bringing automation to the industry sector through the Group’s ETHOS AFP™, serving clients and counterparties across the globe. DDCAP has also invested, for its own account, in a number of Islamic financial sector firms and initiatives. In 2016, DDCAP was one of the first Islamic financial sector firms to be awarded Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Signatory Status. DDCAP is also a Stakeholder Endorser of the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and a member of the RFI Foundation.
About UNEP FI
The United Nations Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilize private sector finance for sustainable development.
UNEP FI works with more than 300 members – banks, insurers, and investors – and over 100 supporting institutions – to help create a financial sector that serves people and planet while delivering positive impacts.
About the Principles for Responsible Banking:
The Principles for Responsible Banking provide the first-ever global sustainability framework for the banking industry. Signatories commit to aligning their business strategies global goals such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. The number of signatories has grown to nearly 200 banks, collectively representing more than 40% of global banking assets.
Jennifer Schwalbenberg, Head of Corporate Responsibility (firstname.lastname@example.org)
UNEP FI Contacts:
For media interviews: Simone Dettling, Banking Team Lead (email@example.com)
To arrange media interviews with other banks/civil society: Sally Wootton: firstname.lastname@example.org