Banks worldwide lining up to endorse ‘Principles for Responsible Banking’ ahead of 22 September launch at United Nations General Assembly

22 May 2019

22 May 2019, Geneva – The number of banks worldwide endorsing the highly anticipated Principles for Responsible Banking has now jumped to 56, including a spearheading group of 28 ‘Founding Banks’ and a growing list of currently 27 more ‘Endorsing Banks’ representing all five continents.

The Principles for Responsible Banking are set to launch on 22 September 2019 at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters, during the UN General Assembly – the annual meeting of the world’s Heads of State.

The Principles have been developed by the banking industry itself, facilitated by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) – a UN-private sector collaboration that includes membership of more than 240 finance institutions around the globe. In an era of increased expectations for banks to support and meet the sustainability goals and standards set by their customers, clients, investors and society-at-large, these Principles define what it means to be a “responsible bank.”

The Principles for Responsible Banking guide a bank to integrate sustainability across all its business areas – from strategic to portfolio to transaction levels. In so doing, they support banks to remain competitive today and into the future, while ensuring that banks create value for both their shareholders and society.

They have been designed to enable all banks to implement them, no matter their specific context or whether the bank is only beginning to integrate sustainability into its business. The transparency and accountability mechanisms of the Principles for Responsible Banking require banks to manage what matters most, set public targets and report back on progress.

“The Principles for Responsible Banking are about achieving large-scale progress rather than small-scale innovation,” said UNEP FI Head Eric Usher. “We are working with all banks, regardless of their current negative or positive sustainability impacts, to truly transform the global banking industry into one that is both meeting society’s sustainability needs and driving progress on society’s sustainability goals – today and into the future.”

Latest endorsers of the Principles for Responsible Banking include: Jyske Bank, Amalgamated Bank, Danske Bank, La Banque Postale, ABN AMRO, BMCE – and the first Swiss bank, Julius Baer.

They join the 28 Founding Banks: Access Bank, AAIB, Banco Pichincha, Banorte, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, CIB, CIMB, First Rand, Garanti, Golomt Bank, Hana Financial Group, ICBC, ING, KCB, Land Bank, National Australia Bank, Nordea, Piraeus, Santander, Shinhan, Standard Bank, Societe Generale, Triodos, Westpac and Yes Bank.

Additional Endorsing Banks, to date, are: Standard Chartered, KBC Group, KB Financial Group, DGB Financial Group, Natixis, GLS Bank, Zenith Bank, Keystone, Landsbankinn hf., WEMA Bank, Caixa, Banco Galicia, BCC Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar, Banco de Fomento Agropecuario (BFA), Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings/Bank, SpareBank 1 Østlandet, Arion Bank, Itaú Unibanco, Alex Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC) and Polaris Bank.

The European Banking Federation, Natural Capital Coalition, SITAWI Finance for Good, the Spanish Banking Association, the European Association of Co-operative Banks, the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks (CECA), the Dutch Banking Association (NVB), Institute for Social Banking, Ethical Finance Hub, RepRisk, Chartered Banker, UK Islamic Finance Council, Mindful Finance Institute, the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association, the Central Bank of Greece, Sustainable Inclusive Solutions, THAIPAT, Latvian Financial Sector Association and Mesa de Finanzas Sostenibles de Paraguay have also officially endorsed the Principles for Responsible Banking as stakeholders.

Download the CEO Guide to the New York City launch events on 22-23 September 2019

Learn about the Principles for Responsible Banking

Endorse the Principles for Responsible Banking

Provide your comments on the Principles – Consultative Process open until 31 May.

View banks’ endorsement statements