The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How KBC ensures business integrity and compliance

As a leading provider of financial and insurance solutions in 6 core markets – Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ireland –, with more than 10 million clients and over 38.000 employees, KBC strives to ensure it gains, retains and grows trust  Tweet This!, by behaving responsibly, openly and transparently.

This case study is based on the 2016 Sustainability Report by KBC published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Abstract

As an integrated bank-insurance group offering a range of services, including retail banking, insurance, and asset management, operating with integrity is a top priority for KBC. In order to ensure business integrity and compliance KBC took action to:

  • ensure compliance through the Corporate Compliance Division
  • raise employee awareness about integrity and compliance issues
  • promote professional integrity through the Dilemma of the Month campaign
  • ensure ethical conduct through the Code of Conduct and other policies

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report KBC identified a range of material issues, such as quality of products and services, financial performance, privacy and data protection, user-friendliness of products and services. Among these, ensuring business integrity and compliance stands out as a key material issue for KBC.

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:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

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 KBC engages with:   

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Clients

 

 

 

·         Annual client satisfaction, NPS and reputation surveys

·         Regular client panels

·         Continuous suggestions and complaints management

Employees

 

·         Annual Group Employee Survey

·         Regular consultation with the Health & Safety Committees, prevention advisors and union representatives

·         Annual meeting of the European Works Council

·         Annual evaluation of all staff

Shareholders, investors and financial analysts, sustainability analysts

 

·         Annual General Meeting

·         Investor days

·         Regular investor roadshows

·         Sustainability assessments such as DJSI, CDP, Sustainalytics, Bankwijzer Belgium and Ethibel

Local and federal government and regulators

 

 

·         Membership of the banking and insurance sector federations in the different core countries and of other national and international representative bodies

·         Active participation at networking events

NGOs, communities, social organisations ·         Annual stakeholder dialogue

·         Regular meetings with NGOs

·         Membership of the local business councils for sustainable development in several core counties

·         Research papers and media analysis

Suppliers

 

·         CSR questionnaire as integral part of the supplier assessment

·         Supplier screening process by EcoVadis

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

In 2016, to identify and prioritize material topics, KBC conducted a survey among 2018 stakeholders (1802 external stakeholders and 216 internal stakeholders). The survey was conducted  through an independent third party and KBC asked respondents to rate issues according to importance.

What actions were taken by KBC to ensure business integrity and compliance?

In its 2016 Sustainability Report KBC reports that it took the following actions for ensuring business integrity and compliance:

  • Ensuring compliance through the Corporate Compliance Division
  • The Corporate Compliance Division helps KBC ensure that, in providing the company’s banking and insurance services, rules, regulations and guidelines are observed. In addition, the Corporate Compliance Division helps make sure that the confidentiality of information and respect of privacy are guaranteed.
  • Raising employee awareness about integrity and compliance issues
  • KBC makes every effort to raise its employees’ awareness of integrity and compliance issues. Such efforts include a number of training programmes (both classroom and web-based), newsletters and journals, and e-learning and web-based courses designed to ensure flexible learning by specific targets groups.
  • Promoting professional integrity through the Dilemma of the Month campaign
  • KBC has developed the Dilemma of the Month campaign. The campaign is intended to encourage employees to think about dilemmas they face (different dilemmas at every level of the organization), share, and discuss them. Moreover, the Dilemma of the Month campaign is focused on ensuring professional integrity, and responsible sales and advice.
  • Ensuring ethical conduct through the Code of Conduct and other policies
  • In order to ensure ethical conduct, KBC implements specific policies and processes. These include:
    • the Code of Conduct for KBC Group Employees
    • the Anti-Money Laundering Policy
    • the Ethics & Fraud Policy
    • the Anti-Corruption and Bribery Policy
    • the Policy for the Protection of Whistleblowers

Which GRI Standards have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 205-1 Operations assessed for risks related to corruption

2) Disclosure 205-2 Communication and training about anti-corruption policies and procedures

3) Disclosure 206-1 Legal actions for anti-competitive behavior, anti-trust, and monopoly practices

4) Disclosure 417-1 Requirements for product and service information and labeling

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by KBC, 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:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

 

Note to KBC: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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