chapter  18
9 Pages

Banking and finance industry

WithAlex Newton

Chapter 18 analyses human rights impacts arising from the activities of the banking and finance sector. It outlines numerous ways banks have the potential to impact detrimentally on human rights through: their own activities; impacts directly linked to their operations, products or services through their business relationships; or through their investments. Chapter 18 considers a range of multi-stakeholder initiatives specifically addressing the banking and finance sector, including the Equator Principles, the IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability, and the OECD Common Approaches for OECD Export Credit Agencies. This chapter also discusses the work of the Thun Group of Banks, an informal group of bank representatives working to advance understanding of the UN Guiding Principles in banking. In this context, Chapter 18 explores criticisms levelled at the Thun Group for its minimalistic approach to interpreting banks’ human rights responsibilities. The chapter concludes that bankers and their advisors must engage more proactively and meaningfully with these issues to better understand their responsibilities.