BankTrack, the NGO network monitoring the private financial sector, presented their new publication, ‘The Do’s and Don’ts of Sustainable Banking; a BankTrack manual’, at the Ethical Corporations’ ‘Sustainable Finance Summit’ in London.
According to Banktrack:
The manual seeks to answer the straightforward question posed to the panel; ‘what does a really sustainable bank look like?’.
- Banks should, for example, change their bonus schemes to emphasise implementation of environmental and social policy and long-term prudence instead of short-term profits.
- BankTrack advises banks to ensure that sustainability policies are actually implemented, rather than used as a public relations tool.
- International banks are told to engage with emerging banks to improve their standards, rather than just complain that there is an uneven playing field.
- Advising investors to put their money into shares that do not meet the bank’s own minimum standards is also listed as a “don’t” by BankTrack.
It follows the outline of the Collevecchio Declaration, released in 2003, which calls upon financial institutions to embrace six commitments:
- Do No Harm;
- Transparency; and
- Sustainable Markets and Governance.
The new manual should be seen as the updated implementation guidelines to the Collevechio Declaration, incorporating the latest thinking and expectations of civil society groups on the subject.