Banking Agreements & Memberships

Agreements & Memberships

Credit Suisse is committed to various international agreements and has integrated their standards into its corporate policy.

The UN Global Compact is an agreement on responsible business management to which companies voluntarily commit. Over 8,000 businesses from 162 countries have pledged to uphold the 10 principles relating to human rights, labor standards, environmental protection and anti-corruption efforts defined in the UN Global Compact. In 2000, Credit Suisse was one of the first companies to sign up to this leading international agreement, which promotes a sustainable approach to business and encourages companies in increasingly globalized markets to make universal principles and values an integral part of their strategies and their actions. As an active member, we report annually on our progress, attend UN Global Compact events and participate in its national networks in Switzerland and Singapore.

For detailed information on the implementation of the 10 principles of the UN Global Compact at Credit Suisse see the Corporate Responsibility Report 2015.

The Finance Initiative of the UN Environment Programme is a global partnership of more than 200 banks, insurers and asset managers with the aim of promoting a sustainable approach to business within the financial sector. Credit Suisse was one of the first signatories of the UNEP statement by Financial Institutions in 1992. In the UNEP Statement by Financial Institutions the signatories recognize the interaction between the economy, society and the environment, and commit to sustainable development.  

In furtherance of our commitment to comply with all laws, rules and regulations applicable to our businesses in the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism, Credit Suisse is one of the founding members of the Wolfsberg Group. The Wolfsberg Group is an association of thirteen global banks which aims to develop frameworks and guidance for the management of financial crime risks, particularly with respect to Know Your Customer, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing policies.

The Equator Principles are the leading financial industry benchmark for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in major industrial and infrastructure projects. They are based on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards on social and environmental sustainability and on the World Bank Group Environmental, Health, and Safety Guidelines. Around 80 financial institutions have adopted the EP, thereby committing to review impact assessment reports on related projects before agreeing to provide financing or advisory services. These financial institutions require clients to take concrete measures to mitigate the potential negative impacts of these projects on people or the environment.

Credit Suisse was one of the first banks to sign up to the EP in 2003, and we have also played an important role in the development of the most recent version of the framework, EPIII. Following Credit Suisse’s transition to the EPIII in 2013, they are now being used for all applicable transactions, including project finance and project-related corporate loans. In addition to sitting on the EP Steering Committee, we are part of the External Relations working group that promotes a dialogue with non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The Sustainability Affairs team at Credit Suisse provides global coverage to the business on Equator Principles transactions, as well as other transactions that entail potential sustainability risks. Sustainability Affairs is responsible for training and advising the business on the appropriate application of the Equator Principles and wider sustainability risk management procedures and policies, ensuring that the appropriate actions are undertaken, and broadly ensuring that the bank meets its commitments under the Equator Principles.

Our sector policies and guidelines require the submission of Equator Principle transactions to Sustainability Affairs for review. These policies and guidelines also require that, where there are significant environmental and social issues associated with a transaction, the business escalates the prospective transaction to our Reputational Risk Review Process, for consideration by members of senior management. Senior management also holds the business accountable for implementation of our sector policies and guidelines.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) promotes the cultivation and use of sustainable oil palm products through the adoption of credible global standards and through multi-stakeholder collaboration. The objectives of the RSPO are supported by over 2,500 members across the supply chain, from growers and traders to retailers and NGOs. Credit Suisse has been an active member of RSPO since 2010.

In 2014, Credit Suisse signed up to the UN’s Principle for Responsible Investment – a voluntary, investor-led framework that helps signatories to better understand the implications of sustainability and incorporate environmental, social and governance information into investment decisions. As a signatory to the PRI, we emphasize our commitment to acting in the best long-term interest of our clients by incorporating ESG criteria into our investment process and decisions.

In January 2014, 13 investment banks announced the launch of the Green Bond Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines on the recommended process for the development and issuance of Green Bonds. Credit Suisse endorsed the GBP in April 2014. The Principles encourage transparency, disclosure and integrity in the development of the Green Bond market and suggest a process for designating, disclosing, managing and reporting on the proceeds of a Green Bond.

CBI is the world’s leading market tracking and advocacy organization in the green bonds space. Its strategy is to develop a large and liquid Green and Climate Bonds Market that will help drive down the cost of capital for climate projects in developed and emerging markets; to grow aggregation mechanisms for fragmented sectors; and to support governments seeking to tap debt capital markets.

Öbu comprises around 400 Swiss companies and promotes the sharing of knowledge among its members and campaigns for the development of a political framework that enables businesses to work sustainably and profitably.