Responsibility Charter plus 12 clear commitments to clients, staff and the wider society
The BNP Paribas Group has been progressively formed over the years through a fusion of banks which were originally founded in the 19th century, mainly to provide finance for business. Today the Group still remains true to its historic vocation. In the current economic environment, however, the general public is asking searching questions about the banking sector, and we as a Bank are therefore called upon to set out clearly the precise responsibilities that we bear in relation to both the economy and society as a whole.
Recognising that customer confidence is the Group's number one asset, the BNP Paribas Management signed up earlier in the year to a Responsibility Charter entitled BNP Paribas: Our Mission, Our Responsibility, which reiterates the Bank's fundamental commitments:
- Remaining true to our primary mission: long-term service to our clients
- Being prepared to take risks, while ensuring close risk control
- Following a strict business ethic
- Being a responsible bank
This Charter has now been cascaded throughout the Group and taken on board by all staff and will be presented to all our clients in the course of the year. In line with and further to the four principles listed above, BNP Paribas is strongly committed to providing its banking services in a highly responsible manner, a commitment which is firmly embodied in all practical decisions taken on a day-to-day basis and in everything we do.
François Villeroy de Galhau, Group COO in charge of Corporate Social Responsibility, and Laurence Pessez, Head of CSR, jointly unveiled on 21 May the Group Corporate Social Responsibility Report for 2011. In tandem with the publication of this report, BNP Paribas now takes this opportunity to declare publicly for the first time its commitment to responsible banking, based on four main pillars carrying twelve specific commitments which continue to guide all our actions.
Our economic responsibility consists of helping to finance the economy in an ethical manner
1. Sustainable financing for the economy: At least 2/3 of net profits retained as capital reserves to help meet the growing demand for credit – from corporations, SMEs and individual clients – in our domestic markets.
2. Business ethics: BNP Paribas' Parlons Vrai (‘Straight Talking') initiative; Cetelem's responsible credit®; a code of conduct formally adopted in March 2011; sales commission rules designed to ensure customer protection; and eased access to loans and insurance cover for non-mainstream customer groups.
3. A responsible product range: environmental, social and governance criteria being applied to a growing proportion of the assets under Group management.
Our employer-responsibility consists of pursuing a policy of fair and committed Human Resources management
4. Recruitment and training: Over 15,000 new recruits every year, several thousand of them in France.
5. Diversity: A steadily-rising proportion of women in senior management positions; a conscious and determined commitment to fostering diversity in all its forms.
6. Fair and loyal jobs policy: Prioritising internal job mobility and training and drawing up innovative labour agreements so as to avoid any forced redundancies in our domestic markets.
Our civic responsibility consists of helping to combat social exclusion and promoting education and culture
7. Combating social exclusion and supporting social entrepreneurship: Strong long-term involvement in underprivileged city neighbourhoods; providing backing for micro-credit and helping to prevent over-indebtedness.
8. Corporate philanthropy policy strongly geared to education, healthcare, culture and social solidarity: The Group supports a growing number of programmes; overall budget now over €29 million.
9. Compliance with the UN guiding principles on Human Rights: Providing support to our staff in at-risk countries; showing special vigilance in our choice of suppliers and counterparts.
Our environmental responsibility consists mainly of helping to combat climate change
10. Committed financing policies for sensitive industrial or economic sectors: Being aware of the environmental impact of our financing decisions; providing a range of ‘green' products for our individual clients.
11. Reducing the environmental footprint of our own day-to-day operations: Reducing our CO2 emissions and cutting down on our consumption of paper(a 20% reduction).
12. Supporting research into climate change: The BNP Paribas Foundation has recently launched new initiatives in this field.
All these commitments imply taking our banking role one step further for the good of society and of the environment, and thereby instilling a more profound meaning into our activities.
These commitments also call for real, tangible actions which sometimes require considerable changes in the way we do business in certain fields. In addition to the few examples mentioned here, the BNP Paribas Group is engaged in many other initiatives, which are set out in detail in the 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.
About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com) has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees, including more than 150,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.