Standard Bank has Partnered with the United Nations to Develop Responsible Banking Principles

Standard Bank is one of twenty-six leading banks from 5 continents, which are re-defining banks’ purpose and business models to align the sector with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Our sustainability and success are inextricably linked to the prosperity and wellbeing of the societies in which we operate. We are clear that our core business activities must support and contribute to this prosperity and wellbeing. This understanding defines our purpose – Africa is our home, we drive her growth.” said Sim Tshabalala, Standard Bank Group, CE.

Both the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change have set ambitious targets to deliver a sustainable future for all. As two thirds of worldwide finance is provided by banks, the global banking system will be instrumental in achieving these goals.

Twenty-six of UN Environment Finance Initiative’s banking members are leading an initiative for banks worldwide to reaffirm their purpose and align their business practices with these objectives. Convened by the UNEP FI secretariat, the banks are developing global Banking Principles that will:

  • challenge the banking industry to play a leading role in supporting a more sustainable future
  • direct banks’ efforts to align with society’s goals as expressed in the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, as well as national and regional frameworks
  • set the global benchmark for sustainable banking
  • drive action by requiring signatory banks to set goals for and report on their contribution to national and international social, environmental and economic targets
  • ensure accountability and transparency on banks’ impacts

In the same vein as the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) for asset managers, and the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) for insurance underwriters, these standards will address the longstanding need for an umbrella framework to cover all aspects of sustainable banking.

The first in-person meeting of the participating banks was hosted by Standard Bank at its London office.

The first in-person meeting of the participating banks was hosted by Standard Bank at its London office on 19 and 20 April.

Members of the Core Group are (in alphabetical order):

Access Bank (Nigeria), Arab African International Bank (AAIB) (Egypt), Banco Pichincha (Ecuador), Banorte (Mexico), Barclays (United Kingdom), BBVA (Spain), BNP Paribas (France), Bradesco (Brazil), Commercial International Bank (CIB) (Egypt), First Rand (South Africa), Garanti Bank (Turkey), Golomt Bank (Mongolia), Hana Financial Group (South Korea), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) (China), ING (Netherlands), KCB Group (Kenya), Land Bank (South Africa), Nordea (Sweden), Piraeus Bank (Greece), Santander (Spain), Shinhan Financial Group (South Korea), Societe Generale (France), Standard Bank (South Africa), Triodos Bank (Netherlands), Westpac Group (Australia), YES Bank (India).