The European Banking Federation is endorsing the initiative for Principles for Responsible Banking, presented last week by UNEP FI, the Finance Initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme, and has committed itself to promote this initiative in the banking sector in Europe.

Banks play an essential and pivotal role in financing the global transition towards a sustainable low-carbon economy and recognize this as part of their purpose and role in society. To encourage European banks to adopt the Responsible Banking Principles, EBF and UNEP FI, with the participation of European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, will organize a European event in Brussels on 5 February where banks and other stakeholders can learn more about the principles. This event will be complemented by events organized by EBF members at national level.

Says Wim Mijs, Chief Executive Officer of the EBF: “Sustainability should be an integral part of everyday culture, processes and decision-making. Supporting a sustainable future is about achieving long-term business benefits and prosperity. Our goal is a financial system that embraces financial benefits as well as societal and environmental benefits. Once that’s achieved all finance will be sustainable. We will no longer need to speak about ‘sustainable finance’ as such.”

The draft principles are developed in cooperation with 28 leading banks from around the globe, including nine from Europe. They represent a first comprehensive global framework for integration of sustainability across all business areas of banks and are a catalyst for continuously increasing positive impact actions while reducing actions with a negative impact on people and environment.

The presentation in Paris launched a global consultation on the draft principles that will run until end of May 2019.  The principles will then be finalized by September. Signatories of the final principles will commit themselves to aligning their strategies with society goals. Using products, services and relationships to accompany clients in their transition towards more sustainable business models, technologies and way of living, banks will support and accelerate the fundamental changes in economies and lifestyles necessary to achieve shared prosperity for current and future generations.

By signing the principles, banks will set public targets in the areas of most significant impact, in terms of scale and ambition and will be held responsible for progress. Public accountability and full transparency will not only enable peers’ comparison and increase trust, the competition is expected to fuel the transformation further towards a sustainable economy. While it will take time, and different banks will find themselves at different levels of the scale, adopting a different pace and approach, the trend is clearly set.

For more about the Principles for Responsible Banking:


Communicated by the EBF

Publié le 04 décembre 2018