Focuses on employment aspects of providing financial services, including guidance
BRUSSELS, 15 May 2020 – European social partners in the banking sector on 7 May signed a “joint declaration on employment aspects of providing financial services including guidance.” Social partners ESBG, European Banking Federation and European Association of Cooperative Banks joined with UNI Europa Finance, representing bank employees via Zoom for a virtual signing due to Covid-19 social distancing measures.
The joint declaration covers a wide range of topics including the importance of employee training, respect for regulatory frameworks, a healthy working environment and professional values. Coming from throughout the European Union, the European social partners commit themselves to work together to achieve the common goal of securing and enhancing the key role of Europe’s banking sector, to strengthen its reputation and the public’s trust in it, and to ensure the crucial role of employees in achieving these goals.
Commenting on the declaration, ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose said: “Europe needs now a sustainable recovery plan to guide us out of the Covid-19 economic crisis. That plan should take into account both the ‘green’ and ‘social’ dimensions. This declaration will most certainly help with the ‘social’ part.”
The banking sector provides reliable and sustainable financial services, which includes guidance, to support long-term social and economic development that helps build resilient societies. As one of the three EU Social Partners from the employers side, ESBG has long advocated for sustainability and its members pride themselves in being key pillars of the regions and towns in which they operate. Numbering some 900 banks, they provide retail financial services to some 150 million European citizens.
Covid-19 pandemic: Social partners drove teleworking well ahead of time
Social partners have worked together previously to forge a better future for those in the banking sector workplace. The partners signed in late 2017 a Joint Declaration on Telework in the European Banking Sector agreed by the same partners as the latest declaration. It responded to the need to take into account new realities and trends having an impact on the sector while providing high-level guidance on the teleworking trend. The teleworking declaration proved prescient as workers and employers today rely greatly on telework arrangements during the Covid-19 pandemic.
De Noose concluded: “The declaration matters because as society struggles with the coronavirus crisis, both European politicians and policymakers alike now look to banks as part of the solution, instead of the problem.”