BRUSSELS, 14 July 2017 – European savings and retail banks' commitment to socially responsible banking and sustainable development now has a 'digital dimension', states a newly updated ESBG Charter for Responsible Business recently approved by the ESBG board of directors and released today.
The two-page charter, which the ESBG board recommends members implement, now includes a section that addresses digitisation and the need to adapt to new realities. The section places focus on client protection, harnessing inclusion and tackling exclusion in multiple ways. First released in 2008, the updated charter also responds to pressing global challenges, picking up on the spirit of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals formally accepted in 2015 by the UN General Assembly.
WSBI-ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose said: “Members updated the charter to address the digital 'New Normal' sweeping the industry. With digital comes a push for innovation, which means we build and maintain in a new way our longstanding trust with customers and continue our track record as fair partners for all segments of society."
Inspired by UN Global Compact and Sustainable Development Goals, the charter outlines seven areas that include digital banking. Association members agree that by carrying out their activities while following the charter principles, they greatly help put those goals within reach, especially in respect to ending poverty in all its forms, promoting sustainable growth and fighting climate change. ESBG members contribute to those goals, particularly through programmes that promote financial and economic inclusion, microfinance, SME finance and managing environmental impact.
De Noose concluded: “By renewing their strong commitment to responsible business, ESBG members send a strong signal to stakeholders about the role they play to promote social cohesion and development in the regions where they serve".