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BankTrack's 2nd benchmarking report finds most banks still failing to deliver on UN Guiding Principles

This BankTrack report evaluates 45 global banks on their progress towards integrating the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights into their policies, due diligence processes and reporting.  It is a follow up to the previous benchmarking study released in December 2014.

We invited 6 banks to respond to the findings, Santander, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Credit Agricole, Bank of America and Sumitomo Mitsui.  Responses from  Credit Agricole, HSBC, Santander, and Sumitomo Mitsui are below.  Bank of America and Goldman Sachs did not respond.

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Company non-response
14 September 2016

Bank of America did not respond

13 September 2016

Banking with Principles? Benchmarking Banks against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, second edition

Author: BankTrack

We benchmarked 45 of the largest banks globally against a set of 12 criteria, based on the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles. These criteria are grouped into four categories: policies, due diligence commitments, reporting and access to remedy. Our key findings are that:

  • Most banks are less than half way towards full implementation of the Guiding Principles.
  • Many laggards; no true leaders.
  • Banks are making progress, but slowly.
  • There are three alarming gaps in implementation by even the front runners.
  • The link between good policies and good implementation appears to be weak.

Read the full post here

Company response
13 September 2016

Crédit Agricole response to BankTrack

Author: Crédit Agricole

First, Crédit Agricole’s commitment towards human rights refers explicitly to the UN Human Rights Norms for Business. It states that we will “carry out due diligence vis-à-vis customers, suppliers and service providers to ensure that the Group does not unwittingly participate in human rights violations, whether directly or indirectly”, i.e. our expectations cover not only our staff but also our business partners and other parties directly linked to our operations, products and services. This commitment was signed by our CEO, i.e. the most senior level of the bank...


Download the full document here

Company non-response
13 September 2016

Goldman Sachs did not respond

Company response
13 September 2016

HSBC response to Banktrack report

Author: HSBC

We were pleased to increase our score this year, albeit from a low base. HSBC is committed to respecting human rights; we recognise that human rights issues are complex and that the roles and responsibilities of business and other stakeholders are the subject of a continuing international dialogue.  We are open and willing to engage in this dialogue where appropriate and constructive.  As we continue to give more transparency to our approach to human rights, we would hope to see a further increase in our score in the next iteration of BankTrack's Banking with Principles report....

Download the full document here

13 September 2016

Most banks failing to deliver on UN human rights principles: new research

Author: BankTrack

  • 45 banks benchmarked ranked on integration of UN Guiding Principles
  • Over half of banks are “laggards”, showing little or no evidence of human rights due diligence
  • Report identifies three major gaps that all banks are failing to address

Most banks have made little progress towards meeting UN human rights principles introduced five years ago this month, and even the most advanced banks have significant gaps in their approach. These are the conclusions of the second edition of BankTrack's "Banking with Principles?" report, a major benchmarking study released today. The report evaluated 45 of the largest banks globally on their progress towards integrating the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...More than half of the banks assessed (24 out of 45) scored 3 out of 12 or less, showing little or no evidence that they are actively assessing the potential human rights impacts of their finance...Eight banks were identified as front-runners, scoring more than 6 out 12. Rabobank and Citi topped the list...

Read the full post here

Company response
13 September 2016

Santander response to BankTrack

Author: Santander

In keeping with its corporate culture, Santander undertakes to respect and promote human rights within the scope of its business, and to prevent, or otherwise, minimise any infringement directly caused by its business.  Following the evaluation criteria used in the 2016 Banking with Principles report we provide information further describing our policies and practices in relation to the management of human right issues...

Download the full document here

Company response
13 September 2016

Sumitomo Mitsui

Author: Sumitomo Mitsui

From both internal and external aspect, SMFG consider human rights.

As for our policy on human rights, we are now under discussion about how to follow the Modern Slavery Act.

Regarding due diligence, we follow initiatives which stipulates about human rights, such as United Nations Global Compact and Equator Principles.