​Updated text reflects rising importance of sustainability and digitisation, as well as the social and economic consequences of the Covid-19 crisis.

BRUSSELS, 14 December 2020 – WSBI and ESBG updated today their Charter for Responsible Business. The Charter sets out a list of recommendations around seven principles:

  • Fair and clear relations with customers
  • Promotion of accessibility and financial inclusion
  • Environment-friendly business
  • Making a responsible contribution to the community
  • Responsible employers
  • The digital dimension
  • Communication

The new charter reflects the growing importance of sustainable finance, where the social dimension should be taken into account more than is the case currently. WSBI and ESBG members also take a clear stance against money-laundering and terrorist financing.

Financial education and a strong social commitment of the member banks are identified as potential ways to help the economy recover from the Covid-19 crisis and its social and economic consequences.

Chris De Noose, WSBI and ESBG Managing Director said: “Savings and retail banks play an important role in the economic and social structures of our society. Working with respect of clear principles, such as those outlined in this Charter for Responsible Business, is a way to illustrate this important role and to further strengthen trust and confidence between ESBG member banks and their customers.”

For more information, please contact:

– Dirk Smet on +32 473 423589 or on +32 2 211 11 90 or at dirk.smet@wsbi-esbg.org

Note to editors:

About ESBG

ESBG represents the locally focused European banking sector, helping savings and retail banks in 20 European countries strengthen their unique approach that focuses on providing service to local communities and boosting SMEs. An advocate for a proportionate approach to banking rules, ESBG unites at EU level some 885 banks, which together employ 664,000 people driven to innovate at 47,900 outlets. ESBG members have total assets of €5.7 trillion, provide €1 trillion in corporate loans, including to SMEs, and serve 164 million Europeans seeking retail banking services. ESBG members commit to further unleash the promise of sustainable, responsible 21st century banking.

About WSBI

The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI) represents the interests of 6,760 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $16 trillion and serving some 1.7 billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2018). Founded in 1924, the institute focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. WSBI supports the achievement of sustainable, inclusive, balanced growth and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries. Learn more at www.wsbi-esbg.org.