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2 Dec 2014

Press release: "Banks not yet living up to UN human rights principles, finds Banktrack"

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[N]ew research from BankTrack has found that global banks are making slow progress in implementing human rights standards, and are failing to live up to their responsibilities completely in some areas. The findings are presented in a new report titled "Banking with Principles?". The report assesses 32 of the largest global banks against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights...Of the 32 banks covered, half were found to have developed human rights policies that include a clear commitment to respect human rights...A majority (17 out of 32) did not provide any reporting on human rights developments or impacts at the bank. None of the banks covered were found to have grievance mechanisms in place, meaning there are no transparent means for communities or individuals to raise complaints...None had a clearly described process in place to remedy even those human rights abuses that the banks identified themselves..Banks were assigned a score of between 0 and 12 depending on their performance against 12 criteria. The Dutch co-operative bank Rabobank scored the highest, with eight points, followed by Credit Suisse and UBS. Banks scoring less than two points included HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, alongside the Chinese banks. The average score obtained was just three out of 12.