Sustainability Policy

The Bank is committed to conducting business responsibly for the benefit of society and creating value for all groups of stakeholders in order to maintain its reputation and credibility and to grow continuously and steadily. The Bank recognizes the linkage between the growth of the economy and its business, as well as the interrelationship between the economy, society, and the environment. Continuous economic growth, social equity, people’s quality of life, and a healthy environment are all prerequisites for the Bank’s sustainable growth.

Economic, social, and environmental stresses are increasing and this may negatively affect the Bank's long-term business operations, the country's economic growth potential, and the quality of life of many people, including the Bank’s employees. The Bank is also facing challenges from technological disruption and there is intensifying competition from both banks and non-bank businesses. The Bank therefore needs a framework to deal appropriately and promptly with such challenges and to prove its commitment to be a “trusted partner and reliable close friend” that creates sustainable value for all groups of stakeholders as well as society.

This sustainability policy serves as a guideline for all executives and employees which will help to drive the organization towards sustainability and contribute to sustainable economic and social development. Sustainability practices are integrated into its business strategies as it adheres to the principle of balancing the benefits between every group of stakeholders. The Bank does not merely aim to create maximum customer satisfaction or to generate the highest returns for shareholders but also seeks to satisfy the interests of other stakeholders. These include supporting the well-being of employees, uplifting the quality of life of people in society as a whole, including vulnerable groups, conserving the environment and natural resources to ensure a legacy for future generations and collaborating with customers, suppliers, and various sectors to support inclusive and sustainable development.

The Bank’s management prepares for uncertainty by adopting prudent and comprehensive risk management and business opportunity assessment. This covers material issues in both the short-and long-term, including employee well-being and development, good corporate governance, creating sustainable value for society and environment, and collaborating with all sectors to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. All of which will help the Bank to effectively respond to challenges and changes and to create sustainable value for all in the society.
This sustainability policy and its implementation applies to the Bank’s operations. However, the Bank also encourages its financial subsidiaries to apply this policy as deemed appropriate.
Approach to Sustainability
The Bank’s sustainability business direction is based on four key pillars as listed below:

1. Risk Management

  • The Bank is committed to cultivating a risk culture with cautious and comprehensive risk management, covering various aspects of the Bank's operations and significant risks both short-and long-term. These include environmental, social, governance and climate change risks, under Three Lines of Defense. There is an effective whistle-blowing procedure within the organization and communication channels to build mutual understanding within the organization. Employees are encouraged to participate in the Bank's risk management process.
  • The Bank monitors the situation, assesses business opportunities arising from economic, social, and environmental challenges and responds to changing situations to create value for customers, shareholders, society, and other stakeholders.

2. Human Resource Management

  • The Bank treats employees equally and fairly without discrimination, respects the rights of employees, and will not tolerate any form of harassment, sexual or any other kind.
  • The Bank provides occupational health and safety, allocates appropriate and adequate welfare, and provides employees with both the means and awareness to enjoy physical and mental health.
  • The Bank promotes lifelong learning by designing a work environment that continually provides knowledge and skills to employees. Courses are developed to meet the needs of employees for useful knowledge that can benefit themselves and the organization while supporting their career advancement.

3. Good Governance

  • The Bank promotes effective, efficient, and transparent corporate governance, emphasizing responsibility, compliance with the laws, regulations, and rules on good corporate governance of the authorities, and encourages the review and the implementation of good corporate governance principles within the organization as appropriate.
  • The Bank aims to raise awareness among all employees about the Bank's business ethics and policies related to sustainable business practices, and has a monitoring process to ensure that employees comply with the Business Code of Conduct as well as policies and rules related to sustainability and corporate governance.

4. Creating Sustainable Value for the Society and the Environment

  • The Bank supports universal access to financial services by employing technology that increases access to services in remote areas, developing products and services that facilitate financial access for vulnerable groups, providing knowledge about appropriate financial products and services, and supporting small and medium enterprises (SME) to develop their potential to increase their access to financial services.
  • The Bank provides financial knowledge to customers and the general public so they can make rational financial decisions throughout their lifetime, have enough savings to live comfortably, and manage debt problems appropriately. The Bank also supports financial education to strengthen the financial resilience of vulnerable groups.
  • The Bank provides financial support to businesses and households to reduce and mitigate their environmental impact in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the greenhouse gas emissions targets of the Paris Agreement and assists customers with climate change adaptation in the transition to a low-carbon society.
  • The Bank creates value for society by working with partners to help communities cope with social and environmental challenges, participating in projects to improve quality and reduce inequality in education, and encouraging the Bank’s employees to participate in social activities, not only those of the Bank but those of other organizations.
  • The Bank is committed to reducing the environmental impact of the Bank's operations by instilling environmental awareness in the organizational culture, raising awareness among the Bank’s employees and encouraging them to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as promoting the reduction of and management of waste in the Bank's buildings.
  • The Bank encourages and supports suppliers to conduct their business with social and environmental responsibility, comply with the Bank's Supplier Code of Conduct, and participate in working towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Policy Implementation
To implement the policy, the Bank has defined three fundamental enabling factors as follows:

  • Sustainability Governance
    The Corporate Governance Committee is assigned by the Board of Directors to consider the Bank's corporate governance and sustainability policy, framework, and strategy and ensure that policies and strategies are effectively implemented. The sustainability team under the Office of the President works together with the relevant departments to develop the Bank's sustainability policies and strategies which are endorsed by the management and the Corporate Governance Committee before being proposed to the Board of Directors for approval. The sustainability team has the responsibility of driving and monitoring the Bank’s sustainability performance and working with the relevant departments to achieve sustainability goals. The compliance units has a supervisory function to ensure compliance with laws and government regulations, as well as the Bank’s policies, rules and regulations and practices.

  • Communication and Engagement
    The Bank communicates policies, business operations, performance, and other important information on sustainability to stakeholders through multiple convenient contact channels where they can also make inquiries or suggestions, and file complaints. Their feedback is used to improve and add value to products, services or activities. The Bank cooperates with all groups of stakeholders as well as related government and private sectors to create sustainable value for society and the environment.

  • Capability Building
    The Bank encourages the Board of Directors, executives, and employees at all levels to be aware of and understand sustainability issues at both a national and business level, while also encouraging employees in relevant departments to understand the risks and potential impact of their decisions. Their knowledge and awareness is developed through training sessions, seminars, lectures by experts and information disseminated through internal communication channels to help them to apply knowledge appropriately according to their roles and responsibilities.

The Bank reviews its sustainability policies annually, or when there is an urgent need to ensure that the sustainability policy is appropriate to the economic, social, and environmental situation and in alignment with the Bank's business direction.


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