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We live in your world - October 2010

We live in your world - October 2010

Responsible lending decisions

Responsible lending decisions

Since becoming a signatory to the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (‘the Guidelines’) in 2007, they have been an important reference point in our approach to responsible business management.  

In a recent submission responding to a review of the Guidelines, we provided input on two key issues relating to financial institutions.

Although voluntary, the Guidelines are supported by 42 Governments around the world including Australia, the United States and many members of the European Union.

The review is aimed at updating the Guidelines to ensure they continue to be a leading international instrument for the promotion of responsible business conduct.

Our submission focussed on how the Guidelines should be applied in the context of business lending and investment.

In particular, we noted that while we do not have the capacity to direct or control those companies with which we have a banking relationship, we do actively seek to uphold the requirements of the Guidelines in two ways:

  1. we assess our client's alignment with our responsible lending commitments as part of the on-boarding, ongoing monitoring and annual review processes; and
  2. where social and environmental issues do arise, we encourage resolution of those issues by the client.  

Our experience has been that where a strong and trusted banking relationship exists we can be effective in encouraging and supporting our clients to address issues.  

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