1. Why has Republic Bank decided to become a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Banking set out by the UNEP FI?
Given Republic Bank's evolution over the years into the largest financial group in the Caribbean, we recognize that we have a moral responsibility that extends beyond our basic obligations to our shareholders. In this regard, we have a responsibility to play a leading part (in conjunction with all of our stakeholders) to create more sustainable communities for the benefit of both present and future generations of the Caribbean.
2. What does the signing mean for Republic Bank’s customers and stakeholders?
The signing of the Principles for Responsible Bank signals our commitment to:
a. Align our lending activities to contribute to the needs and societal goals in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement for the countries in which we operate.
b. Continuously increase our positive impacts while reducing our negative impacts on people and environment resulting from the activities of our products and services.
c. Work responsibly with our clients and our customers to encourage sustainable practices and enable economic activities that create shared prosperity for the current and future generations.
d. Proactively and responsibly consult, engage and partner with relevant stakeholders to achieve societal goals.
e. Implement our commitment to the Principles through effective governance and a culture of responsible banking.
f. Be transparent and accountable for our positive and negative impacts and our contribution to society’s goals.
3. How does becoming a signatory change the way the Group operates?
Republic Bank has long prided itself as being a responsible bank. This is evidenced by our “Power to Make a Difference Program”, which works to enhance the quality of lives of persons with disabilities, support healthcare programmes, provide opportunities for young people to realise their truest potential through sport, education, literacy, culture and the arts, and raise the bar for community investment through a wide-reaching, comprehensive staff volunteerism programme.
We believe that the Principles is simply just an extension of corporate social responsibility commitment to incorporate the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement.
4. The Principles speaks to the UN Sustainable Goals. Does Republic Bank intend to access the environmental impact of the lending activities in the Caribbean and Ghana?
Yes. Republic Bank intends to work continuously to increase our positive impacts while reducing our negative impacts on people and environment resulting from the activities of our products and services. To this end, we will set and publish targets where we can have the most significant impacts including, our negative impacts.
5. The UNEP FI outlines that banks should take to task its environmental, social and economic impacts, has Republic Bank taken a cursory glance at this and could you indicate where you think you fall short?
As a Signatory of the Principles, Republic Bank and the other peer banks will each undertake an in-depth analysis of their portfolios to assess and determine the positive and negative impacts at a country level and aggregated for the Group. Our awareness of our impacts will allow us to set targets to increase our positive contribution and decrease our negative impacts depending on the needs of each country in which we operate. Undoubtedly, our impact analysis will identify areas of improvement in line with our targets and we intend to work continuously as an organization to meet the targets we set around all aspects on the UN Sustainable Development Goals including, environmental, societal and economic.
6. How does the Group intend to meet the UNEP FI’s objectives for better environmental, social and economic impacts?
Republic Bank intends to meet its commitment to the Principles for our customers by developing new or augmenting our efforts on products and services or sustainability related incentives that increase our positive impacts.
For our Commercial and Corporate segments, we intend to meet our commitment by identifying and underwriting sustainable and socially equitable projects based our internal risk criteria.
At a national level, we intend to support the individual needs of each territory in the Caribbean and Ghana based on positive impact areas.