As one of the most important African banks, Access Bank regards sustainability as key to its business strategy and vision. Tweet This! Creating social, economic and environmental value now, will generate added value for stakeholders in the long run. Therefore, combating corruption is a key priority for Access Bank.
This case study is based on the 2015 Sustainability Report by Access Bank published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate that CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly is achieved by identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment and stakeholders and by measuring, managing and changing.
Access Bank is committed to operating as a sustainable financial institution that will not endanger the future of the next generations. The bank incorporates corporate responsibility into its decision-making processes and operations. Adopting an anti-corruption policy is an important step towards a more sustainable and transparent future. In order to combat corruption, Access Bank took action to:
- appoint anti-bribery compliance officers
- show zero tolerance for bribery and corruption
- engage external stakeholders to report unethical practices
- raise awareness of anti-corruption practices among employees
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With this case study you will see:
- Which are the most important impacts (material issues) Access Bank has identified;
- How Access Bank proceeded with stakeholder engagement, and
- What actions were taken by Access Bank to combat corruption
What are the material issues the company has identified?
In its 2015 Sustainability Report Access Bank identified a range of material issues, such as human rights, customer welfare and experience, compliance, employee volunteering, economic performance, non-discrimination. Among these, combating corruption stands out as a key material issue for Access Bank.
Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards
The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:
Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.
Key stakeholder groups Access Bank engages with:
|Stakeholder Group||Method of engagement (in 2015)|
|Employees||· Day-to-day engagement and feedback
· Quest for Excellence sessions
· Sustainability Awareness Week
· Various Trainings and Capacity building sessions
· Group Executive visioning meetings
· Employee satisfaction surveys
· Recognition and Awards
· HR Town Hall Meetings
· Regular electronic newsletters
· Employee Volunteering Showcase
· Happy Hour
|Customers||· Daily interactions with staff at branch offices
· Website (www.accessbankplc.com)
· Customer surveys
· Events, Meetings and Business Forums
· Customers Digest and other publications
· Electronic Alerts
· Social Media
· Discussions and Focus Groups
· Marketing visits and calls
· Access Bank’s customer Ombudsman desk
|Shareholders||· Annual reports and accounts
· Access Bank website
· Public announcement of quarterly results
· Conference calls with shareholders and investors
· Annual general meetings (AGMs)
· Shareholder association meetings
· Non-deal Roadshows
|Suppliers||· E-mails and letters
· Forums, events and exhibitions
· Visits to their business sites
|Communities||· Community outreaches through Access Bank’s employee volunteering initiatives
· Partnerships with community-facing non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
· Charitable donations and sponsorships
· Community investment and development efforts
|Regulators||· Regulatory consultations
· Industry working groups and committee meetings
· Onsite meetings/supervisory visits by representatives of regulatory bodies
|Media and industry analysts||· Media parley events (through which Access Bank makes proactive efforts to specifically engage the media)
· Other public-focused engagement channels organised by the Bank during the year, and at which media representatives were also present
How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues
To identify and prioritize key corporate responsibility issues, Access Bank conducted an internal review of its business strategy, engaging management executives and shareholders. In addition, Access Bank engaged its employees in various strategic business units in order to become aware of their primary concerns. The internal engagement was complemented by engaging external stakeholders such as clients, neighboring groups, controllers, suppliers, the media and industry examiners.
In its 2015 Sustainability Report Access Bank reports that it took the following actions for combating corruption:
- Appointing anti-bribery compliance officers
- Access Bank appointed anti-bribery compliance officers who contributed to:
- establishing strict ethical and legal standards among staff
- monitoring compliance by investigating the bank’s operations according to local and international anti-corruption regulations
- Showing zero tolerance for bribery and corruption
- Access Bank’s zero tolerance for bribery and corruption is illustrated by specific, documented policies like the Anti-bribery policy, the code of ethics and the compliance manual. These documents are available to all employees. When incidents of corruption are detected, Access Bank follows its anti-corruption policy, which may lead to dismissal of staff and blacklisting of sellers.
- Engaging external stakeholders to report unethical practices
- Access Bank enables external stakeholders to denounce unethical practices, which helps the Bank to act effectively and thus avoid further liabilities and losses. In order to enable employees and external stakeholders to report unethical practices, Access Bank launched a whistleblower system, developed by the KPMG Ethics Line. The whistleblower system provides a mechanism for denouncing breaches of the Bank’s internal policies, and/or national legislation related to anti-corruption, labour practices, human rights, discrimination, etc. Furthermore, the bank’s official website has a platform dedicated to whistleblowers’ reports.
- Raising awareness of anti-corruption practices among employees
- As Access Bank is committed to operating according to high ethical standards and to ensuring transparency, raising awareness of anti-corruption practices among employees is vital. The Bank endorses staff training on anti-corruption, including Anti-Money Laundering and fighting the financing of terrorism.
Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?
The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:
1) G4-SO3: Total number and percentage of operations assessed for risks related to corruption and the significant risks identified – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 205-1 Operations assessed for risks related to corruption
2) G4-SO4: Communication and training on anti-corruption policies and procedures – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 205-2 Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures
1) This case study is based on published information by Access Bank, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:
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