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Since 2005, the Sustainability and Responsibility Committee (SRC), one of the three subcommittees of the Board, has been mandated to set the strategy to meet the Bank's sustainability ambitions. It has overseen performance in achieving each of the sustainability objectives and ensured that business activities are aligned; integrated; and reflect business priorities as well as external stakeholder considerations. The Committee has also proactively identified, and ensured sufficient response to, emerging issues arising from external trends in sustainability, regulation and public sentiment, to take advantage of business opportunities and minimise risk.

2009 highlights

  • Maintained momentum with regard to our sustainability agenda despite turbulent market conditions
  • Reviewed the role of banks in society and the need to focus on generating long-term shareholder value through sustainable banking practices in response to the financial crisis
  • Enhanced the capacity of the Renewable Energy and Environmental Finance (REEF) team to respond to the strategic opportunities of water, energy security and climate change
  • We reviewed the significant progress made towards our community commitments in HIV/AIDS education and Seeing is Believing Phase IV

2010 priorities

  • The Committee will be re-named and become the Brand and Values Committee and we will revise and expand the remit of the Committee to include reputational risk, our clients/customer focus (including Treating Customers Fairly), policy and sector position statements and regulatory relationship
  • Focus on the Group's commitment to a new brand promise 'Here for good' and establish oversight of how this brand promise is delivered and embedded throughout the Group
  • Continue to ensure that the Group identifies and manages reputational risk and that it is consistent with the Risk Appetite Statement approved by the Board

Supporting committees

Separate committees and steering groups support the work of the SRC. They review emerging and current risks, make recommendations to the Board and co-ordinate initiatives. These supporting committees include:

Area of focus Governance Core Objective
Access to finance (Islamic banking) Shariah Supervisory Board Guiding the Bank on ways to develop and execute products and transactions in accordance with Shariah principles
Responsible selling and marketing Voice of Customer (VOC) Management Committee Monitoring all issues related to customer complaints of being treated unfairly or mis-sold products
Tackling financial crime Group Financial Crime Risk Committee Reviewing current and emerging financial crime risks and ensuring there is an appropriate risk management strategy in place to address those risks
Sustainable finance Wholesale Banking
Responsibility and
Reputational Risk
Committee (WBRRRC)
Reviewing transactions and business strategy to ensure environmental, social, governance and reputational risks have been identified and mitigated
Great place to work Diversity and Inclusion Council Ensuring an inclusive environment to enable the Bank to attract, develop and retain the best talent by making our people feel valued, included and engaged
Protecting the environment Group Environment Committee Overseeing delivery of the Group-wide environment strategy and policy
Community investment
(Seeing is Believing)
Seeing is Believing Advisory Committee Providing guidance on strategy and monitoring of overall risk associated with the programme

Managing our sustainability agenda

The Bank's sustainability agenda except the community investment programmes are managed and implemented by the business and support functions across the Bank. To ensure an integrated approach to sustainability and that strategic priorities are delivered, the Bank has a dedicated Group Sustainability function which is responsible for supporting the development of policies and for global co-ordination of the Bank's sustainability strategy. The Sustainability team also engages with external stakeholders on the Bank's sustainability strategy and progress.

Report tools

Annual Report and Accounts 2009