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Commentary: Ecosystem approach to remedy can help financial institutions take meaningful action

Author: David Kovick, Shift, Published on: 28 June 2019

"Rethinking Remedy and Responsibility in the Financial Sector: How using an ecosystem approach can push the remedy conversation out of deadlock and into meaningful action", May 2019

...[I]n too many cases, remedy is not available for people who are harmed by business activities, which are often connected in some way to the products and services of global financial institutions... [I]mpacts are often remote. It can be challenging for a financial institution or any business…to investigate allegations of impacts to establish facts on the ground, particularly when those facts might be disputed... [B]usinesses further up the value chain often default into thinking that remedy is less relevant for them because they did not cause the harm...Rather than focusing solely on who is responsible for providing remedy, we are asking who can play what roles in enabling remedy... The ecosystem framing brings a focus to preparedness for remedy, by asking how financial institutions can use their leverage to strengthen the grievance mechanism architecture, and how they can build their leverage with clients at an early stage, before impacts occur... It also transforms how we think about enabling remedy in specific cases, by exploring… ways financial institutions can use their leverage once impacts have occurred... The way [this approach] shifts conversations from a purely adversarial and defensive posture into a constructive dialogue about getting to more meaningful outcomes for people has been eye-opening...

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