Publication date: 28 May 2019
Banks play an essential and pivotal role in financing the global transition towards a sustainable low-carbon economy and recognise this as part of their purpose and role in society. Banks are taking their responsibility very seriously, especially in Europe, where they finance two thirds of the economy. The European banks are increasingly considering sustainability as a key factor of their business strategy and a number of banks have committed to steering their portfolios to meet the Paris agreement, for investments in sustainable finance. The European Banking Federation was one of the first endorsers of the principles and is committed to promoting this initiative in the banking sector in Europe. Together with UNEP FI, the EBF organised a Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) workshop on 5 February 2019 and an educational webinar on 14 May 2019 and actively promoted the initiative across European and international fora. The response to this consultation aims at improving the clarity and operationality of the Principles and at pointing out some most challenging areas from the operational and implementation perspective, where additional clarification or provision of illustrative examples would be desirable. The UNEP FI intention to cooperate with experts in further development of tools, methodologies and approaches to assist banks with the implementation is very welcome. To promote additional adoption throughout the banking sector, it is important that a certain form of training and assistance be accessible to all banks. The EBF stands ready to continue its cooperation with the UNEP FI to provide any assistance in further promotion of the PRB adoption and its awareness and support amongst banking leaders.