“The HFSF supports the ‘Principles of Responsible Banking’ – United Nations Environment Program – Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI)”

On the occasion of the one year anniversary (22/09/2019) since
the publication of the “Principles of Responsible Banking” of the United Nations Environment Program – Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI*), the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF) endorses and supports these, which have as ultimate goal the creation of a banking system that will support sustainable development, thus highlighting the positive contribution of the banking industry to the wider society.

On September 22-23, 2019, during the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York,
USA, 130 banks from 49 different countries co-signed the six Principles for Responsible
Banking (PRB), as part of the United Nations Environment Program-Finance Initiative; while
to date the number of banks that have co-signed the PRBs amounts to be more than 180. The
list of these banks includes Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank, while the National Bank of
Greece will follow shortly.

The HFSF, as an endorser and supporter of this important initiative, cooperates with the Greek
systemic banks in order to improve Bank activities’ environmental impact assessment and
response, increase Banks’ funding that support socially and environmentally sustainable
economic activities and enhance Banks’ corporate governance.

Through this pioneering move, the co-signatory Banks are committed to aligning themselves
with the UN Sustainable Development Goals by defining time-bound actions that will address
the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change with social sensitivity and
responsibility, working with clients, assessing the impact of their activities on the
environment and society, setting improvement goals, and promoting corporate governance,
transparency, and accountability.
It is worth noting, among other things, that in the first year the following actions were
– 31 March 2020: UNEP-FI released a tool to analyze the impact of the banks’
policies/procedures as well as of their investment and loan portfolios on Sustainability in
order to assist the signatory banks in implementing the Principles
– 4 May 2020: a series of working groups were set up, consisting of representatives of all the
banks that had co-signed, with each group focusing on different aspects of the
implementation, such as impact analysis, knowledge sharing, goal setting and progress
– July 2020: The co-signatory Banks voted to establish a governing body, the Banking Council,
consisting of 11 Banks’ representatives and one from the United Nations, to ensure the
effective implementation of Banks’ PRB commitments
– September 8, 2020: HFSF organized the 1st Online Discussion on “Banking Practices for the
Environment, Society and Corporate Governance”. Speakers of this pioneering online
discussion (http://www.hfsf.gr), which was attended by over 85 participants, were executives
from the Hellenic Bank Association, Bank of Greece, AIPHORIA Consulting, and Sumitomo
Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe.
For further information, you can visit: www.unepfi.org

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