G20 must stand together and show leadership

​​BRUSSELS, 7 July 2017  Business representatives of the G20 members call on the G20 to be united and show leadership in shaping globalization, said the chair the official business dialogue Business 20 (B20) on Thursday. 

Speaking before the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Jürgen Heraeus said: “Global challenges need global solutions. National solo-runs are bound to fail. The G20 is now more important than eve​r and must overcome the challenges of the last few months."

Over the past ten months, the B20 has developed recommendations for the G20 to improve the future viability and sustainability of the global economy. The B20 spoke out strongly against protectionism and for strengthening the multilateral trade system with the WTO at its heart.

He added: “We stand for open and rules-based markets. At the same time, we must ensure that the benefits from globalization are widespread in our societies. For example, we need to invest more in education and lifelong learning." 

The B20 supports the Paris Climate Agreement and encourages the G20 members to send a clear signal in Hamburg for climate protection. 

“Climate protection and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. Quite the opposite. In order to push ahead with the necessary innovations, leaving room to ensure competitiveness, a reliable implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement is necessary in order to ensure fair competition," said Heraeus. 

On the numerous protests taking place at the G20 Summit, he noted: “I strongly believe that the G20 and its Communiqués should be reviewed critically. But the right way is a constructive debate and exchange." An example of this is the collaboration of the G20 Engagement Partners (Business 20, Civil 20, Labor 20, Think 20, Science 20, Women 20, and Youth 20). This was particularly close under the German G20 Presidency. In joint statements, the G20 Engagement Partners expressed their support for open and inclusive societies, and most recently for climate protection and international cooperation.

​WSBI-ESBG, members provide feedback to B20 policy recommendations

WSBI and ESBG, representing savings and retail banks worldwide, were invited to represent their members in meetings of the B20 under the German presidency. In addition to the task force meetings, WSBI-ESBG made comments on the B20 draft policy recommendations for the G20 and called on its members to provide further input. 

The need for proportionality

​WSBI-ESBG stressed throughout the process the need for the principle of proportionality to be applied to banking sector rulemaking to help unleash growth and develop local communities. Invited to the​ Financing Growth and Infrastructure (FGI) Taskforce meetings, WSBI-ESBG argued for the proportionality principle to be weaved into better regulation efforts, taking into account the unique nature of locally focused banks that serve their communities and regional economies.  

WSBI Managing Director said in a recent op-ed in WSBI-ESBG magazine News & Views: "Any new and existing legislation should apply the principle of proportionality. In general, this principle has been well placed in the mind-set of decision makers. 

​​"Policy makers should keep in mind the special role savings and retail banks play in local communities and local economies. Building on that, policymakers should see savings and retail banks as an agent to relay the benefits of globalisation at local level. A big part of that revolves around expertise in lending to the real economy, namely SMEs."

​​WSBI Institutional Positions

As part of G20-B20 efforts, WSBI published in early March its latest set of positions related to G20 policy areas. The eight-page document called on G20 policymakers to recognise and encourage the role played by savings and retail banks in the real economy and to ensure appropriate regulation for better economic growth. 

Role of savings, retail banks in local economies​

​WSBI-ESBG members have played an essential role in providing a model that forms part of a diverse banking system that remains crucial to maintaining the stability of the financial system. Financing the real economy is a core function of their members' business model. Savings and retail banks safeguard deposits and put them to work through effective and responsible lending valued at close to €9.5 trillion. ​

​About B20

The Business 20 (B20) is the official G20 dialogue with the global business community. The mission of the B20 is to support the G20 through consolidated representation of interests, expertise, and concrete policy proposals. Furthermore, the B20 promotes dialogue among policy-makers, civil society, and business at the international level.

The German B20 is organized by the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA), and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). The B20 is headed by B20 Chair Jürgen Heraeus (Heraeus Holding). He is assisted by the three members of the Executive Committee Dieter Kempf, President of BDI, Eric Schweitzer, President of DIHK, and Ingo Kramer, President of BDA, as well as B20 Sherpa Stormy-Annika Mildner. B20 Germany has more than 700 members from all sectors and all G20 members, representing the entire G20 business community.


>> Find further information on B20 Germany

>> Download:B20 Summary document with policy recommendations to G20 

>> See: WSBI G20 Institutional Positions document​​​





G20; Proportionality; SME finance