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Position statements

Position statements provide guidelines on specific sectors across our Wholesale Banking and SME Banking businesses

In 2008, we articulated our approach to providing financial services to clients in sectors considered to have high environmental and social risk or that face specific issues in the form of 13 position statements.

We made these position statements public in 2009 to provide our clients with guidance on sound social and environmental management practices and to reinforce our commitment to sustainability.

Our position statements cover 11 sectors - biofuels, dams, forestry and palm oil, fossil fuelled power generation, mining and metals, nuclear power generation, oil and gas, ship breaking, tobacco and transportation of hazardous materials - and the two issues of climate change and child labour.

Recently, we developed our fourteenth position statement to cover the issue of water. It was publicly launched in March 2010.

With our focus on emerging markets, we recognise that there may be differences in standards required in some of our local markets with regards to providing financial services and assessing environmental and social risks. To ensure a consistent international standard, we have chosen the International Finance Corporation's (IFC) Performance Standards and its Environmental, Health and Safety guidelines as reference standards for providing financial services. These are recognised as the leading standards applicable to many industrial sectors and are particularly relevant for emerging market economies whose local regulations and laws may not be considered an appropriate international standard. In addition, the IFC Performance Standards are consistent with other aspects of our risk management framework, such as the Equator Principles.

Download position statement summary as PDF

Download position statements in full as PDF

To ensure that the position statements match our exposure to high risk sectors, we track our exposure on an annual basis. This exposure is shown in the table below.

Sector Exposure In Wholesale Banking

  2009
  Hong Kong Singapore Korea Other Asia Pacific India Middle East & Other S Asia Africa Americas UK & Europe Total
  $million $million $million $million $million $million $million $million $million
Loans to individuals                  
Mortgages 14,816 8,149 20,460 11,016 1,685 1,128 212 171 57,637
Other 2,971 4,957 4,951 5,012 772 2,396 678 835 22,572
Small and medium enterprises 1,641 2,370 4,024 3,258 1,255 636 113 1,074 14,371
Consumer Banking 19,428 15,476 29,435 19,286 3,712 4,160 1,003 2,080 94,580
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 16 81 25 351 75 150 613 630 1,941
Construction 274 49 370 350 342 797 116 234 2,532
Commerce 2,508 4,819 939 3,612 861 5,103 765 4,472 23,079
Electricity, gas and water 538 53 188 523 31 371 239 1,395 3,338
Financing, insurance and 2,319 4,150 668 4,515 543 4,013 174 5,406 21,788
business services 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Governments 0 966 344 3,256 1 250 34 315 5,166
Mining and quarrying 120 569 3 280 139 185 172 4,941 6,409
Manufacturing 2,586 1,061 3,369 7,794 2,485 1,857 685 5,735 25,572
Commercial real estate 1,274 2,275 997 908 360 672 4 518 7,008
Transport, storage and communication 579 1,438 310 1,024 399 1,115 258 4,323 9,446
Other 397 507 268 296 6 234 21 62 1,791
Wholesale Banking 10,611 15,968 7,481 22,909 5,242 14,747 3,081 28,031 108,070

Report tools

Annual Report and Accounts 2009