JSC VTB Bank
Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
JSC VTB Bank (the “Bank”) is a systemically important lending institution with recognized leadership in the Russian banking sector. The Bank provides world-class financial services through its subsidiaries in various countries, and adheres to high professional standards in all countries where it has a presence.
The Bank is conscious of its economic, social and environmental impact on the societies in which it operates, and strives to enhance their sustainable development.
The Bank seeks to ameliorate its internal and external environments. Its corporate responsibility activities therefore aim to exert a positive effect on both the Bank’s own employees and the community at large, and to meet the bank’s strategic interests in making its open and transparent business understandable to the society.
Corporate social responsibility is a key element in the Bank’s corporate conduct that strengthens the Bank’s image both in Russia and abroad, brings together its subsidiary financial and lending companies around core shared values, and reduces strategic, reputational and operating risks, resulting in higher capitalization and global standing of the Bank.
In developing its corporate social responsibility policy, the Bank draws on its own expertise gained through communication with stakeholders, as well as on international standards in CSR and non-financial reporting, particularly the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.
Key terms and definitions
Non-Financial (Social) Report means an official report on economic, environmental and social aspects of the Bank’s activities.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means a set of dynamically changing and regularly reviewed responsibilities, reflecting the Bank's business specifics and level of development, agreed in interaction with its stakeholders on a voluntary basis, approved by the Bank’s senior management with due consideration for the opinions of employees and shareholders, performed primarily on its own account and aimed at implementing material internal and external social programs that promote the Bank’s growth (increased output, higher quality of products and services, etc.), strengthen its image and create a corporate identity, and expand mutually beneficial partnerships with governments, business partners, local communities and civil institutions.
Corporate social responsibility policy means an instrument of business activity applied by the Bank on a voluntary basis and having a material impact on its strategic and tactical decisions in developing its business and meeting the interests of all stakeholders, and which makes the Bank, in addition to compliance with legislation, assume other responsibilities to society. This policy is in line with the Bank’s strategic interests.
Sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Stakeholders mean people or groups of people who have an impact on or can be affected by the Bank’s activities.
Corporate conduct means activities ensuring management of and control over the Bank’s performance, and including a set of relations among the Bank’s management and control bodies, shareholders and other stakeholders. The Bank believes that corporate conduct is an instrument that can enhance its business, increase its market capitalization, and reduce its borrowing costs.
Internal environment means a set of processes involving the Bank’s employees, as well as other driving forces, objectives and tasks set out as part of the Bank’s strategy, of which they are integral parts, and complying with the shared values and corporate identity of the Bank.
External environment means economic, political, social and cultural trends, as well as specific activities of government bodies, the Bank’s counterparties and competitors that have an impact on the Bank’s business in geographies in which it operates. The Bank’s external environment is characterized by dynamic relations, diversified cooperation, and integrated business processes that reflect its mission and vision.
Shared values mean distinctive ethical values that are accepted by a company’s employees. The Bank seeks to maintain customers’ trust and confidence, make its business transparent and open, offer comprehensive business solutions, and further build up its unique team of high-class professionals.
Corporate citizenship means a reputational strategy of the Bank aimed at interacting with local communities to promote efficient and sustainable development; and at engaging the Bank’s employees into charitable acts and donations by drawing their attention to communities’ needs.
Local communities mean people grouped in various communities within a specific territory (of the city or a state) where the Bank operates.
Objectives, tasks and scope
JSC VTB Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy (the “Policy”) is a fundamental document that defines the major principles and guidelines for the Bank’s activities related to corporate responsibility. Once in place, the Policy aims to further promote transparency of business processes and efficiency of communication with stakeholders. It also aims to enhance the Bank’s image, and increase its investment appeal and the quality of its business management.
The Policy aims to:
Define the basic principles of the Bank’s management system in the sphere of corporate responsibility;
Ensure the integrity of CSR activities with the strategic objectives and tasks of the Bank;
Advocate CSR as the Bank’s philosophy in communicating with stakeholders;
Streamline the Bank’s CSR activities to achieve a positive impact on its external and internal environments;
Gradually integrate accountability for risks related to the social and economic impact of stakeholders’ activities into investment decision making;
Strengthen and maintain leadership in CSR and promote CSR practices among subsidiary companies in the countries where the Bank operates;
Enhance the transparency of the Bank’s CSR activities through an improved system of non-financial reporting and disclosure in compliance with global standards; and monitoring CSR efficiency.
The Policy addresses the management of the Bank’s corporate conduct and its impact on corporate, market, social and ecological environment. Its provisions shall be binding for all divisions of the Bank.
Major CSR principles
Major CSR principles are applied alongside the principles of the Bank’s Code of Ethics and are as follows:
Dedication to the Bank’s mission, shared values and vision;
Provision of world-class services based on top-ranked professionalism of the Bank's team;
Respect for the worth and dignity of a human being;
Fair play and mutual respect in communicating with stakeholders;
Equitable decision-making in management;
Compliance with all applicable legislation, and liability for actions taken;
Protection of employees’ health and well-being;
Openness in communication with stakeholders.
Communication with stakeholders
The Bank believes that the trust and confidence of its stakeholders is a major value that underpins efficient banking performance.
Major stakeholders of the Bank include:
Shareholders and investors;
Governments and regulators;
Society at large;
The Bank communicates with its stakeholders in compliance with the principles and standards set out in Clause 4.1, and also applies the following universal approaches:
Materiality. The Bank aspires to maintain pro-active and rewarding communication with its stakeholders, and performs qualitative and quantitative analysis of its business processes with the aim of further enhancing their efficiency.
Cooperation. The Bank seeks mutually reinforcing forms of cooperation based on its CSR principles, with the aim of meeting the expectations of the Bank and its stakeholders for increased profit and added value of its intangible assets.
Integration. The Bank enhances the efficiency of its management system by integrating the performance of its divisions, reducing the time for decision-making between the Head Office and branches, and providing its employees with full resources and opportunities for efficient work and business coordination.
Through its CSR activities The Bank manages the following five impacts:
Impacts on employees,
Impacts on the market,
Corporate conduct, which overlaps the above four impacts and is a core area of the Bank’s performance.
6.1. Corporate conduct management
The Bank’s priorities in corporate conduct management are: to facilitate the performance of the Bank’s Supervisory Council and executive bodies, to safeguard shareholders’ interests, to promote management at the highest level of responsibility, and to ensure stringent accountability. Once implemented, these priorities shall result in the fullest capitalization of the Bank and best value for its shareholders.
6.1.1. Enhancing financial performance and investment appeal are major objectives of the Bank. At the same time, thorough consideration is given to the social and environmental impact of its decisions.
6.1.2. In communicating with its stakeholders, the Bank keeps an open and constructive dialogue based on best practices and high standards of corporate conduct and corporate governance. The Bank is driven by the targets set by its shareholders.
6.1.3. The Bank publishes financial and non-financial reports on a timely basis, with the aim of ensuring the reliability, intelligibility and correctness of the information disclosed, streamlining feedback, and more actively engaging members of top management in presenting the Bank’s results and future plans.
6.1.4. The Bank strictly abides by all applicable legislation and follows the recommendations of local regulators. The Bank meets all its tax and other payment obligations.
6.2. Internal impact management
Priorities of the Bank in managing internal environment are: to increase employee motivation, protect their health and welfare, and enhance labor efficiency.
6.2.1. Human capital is the most valuable asset of the Bank. Therefore, investment in employees is an investment in the Bank’s future efficient and sustainable growth. Principles and rules of business conduct and ethics are regulated by the Bank’s Code of Ethics.
6.2.2. When hiring or promoting employees, the Bank mostly relies on their professional qualities.
6.2.3. The Bank aims to facilitate cross-channel communication with employees, taking into account their opinions, and respecting their right to access the information they need.
6.2.4. The Bank encourages loyalty and increases employee motivation by providing them with competitive remuneration, comprehensive social welfare, a safe and favorable working environment, training and career growth opportunities.
6.2.5. The Bank is committed to developing its corporate culture based on the values it advocates, and encourages teamwork to meet strategic targets: identifying and streamlining key business process, and building best-in-class teams of experts in top priority industries and market segments.
6.2.6. The Bank promotes a healthy lifestyle among its employees and provides them with information to reduce incidence rates of sickness and injuries at work.
The Bank’s priorities in managing the market environment are: to fully meet its customers’ demands and enhance their loyalty, and to streamline stable and mutually beneficial relations with stakeholders.
Through active lending and investment activities, the Bank supports segments and industries that contribute to further diversification of the Russian economy and promote innovation-based development.
The Bank honors its contractual obligations and professional standards, and expects the same from its business partners (counterparties). The Bank has put in place a system of internal control to mitigate the risk of violations or abuses.
The Bank encourages trade turnover growth between the Russian Federation and other countries. By offering world-class financial services and demonstrating high professional standards, the Bank contributes to a stronger and more positive image of Russia abroad.
In its dealings corporate customers, the Bank is governed by its Lending Policy and thoroughly assesses the financial standing of any borrower. In the long term, the Bank seeks to integrate social and environmental aspects of customers’ business into its investment decision making.
In expanding its branch network, the Bank takes into account not only the current economic growth potential and investment appeal of a specific region, but also its vision of that region’s needs for the successful future social and economic development of Russia.
Wherever possible, the Bank aims to offer its customers integrated financial solutions that meet both their current and future demands, and that are tailored to each customer. Customer feedback is used to further increase the quality of services and develop new products.
Fees and commissions of the Bank reflect the market environment. The Bank provides its stakeholders with the fullest information possible, and never makes decisions for its customers.
The Bank guarantees the confidentiality of the information obtained from customers, except for as required by law.
The Bank counteracts money-laundering and terrorist financing not only under the applicable legislation, but also under additional obligations assumed under VTB Group’s Anti-Money-Laundering Policy and the “Banks against Money Laundering” Declaration adopted by a group of Russian banks.
The Bank places ongoing emphasis on developing innovative financial services at VTB Group companies, by spreading CSR best practices through their corporate governance bodies.
The Bank’s priorities in managing social impact are: improving quality of life in local communities, and reinforcing its reputation as a trustworthy and sound bank that is actively engaged in local developments.
6.4.1. The Bank is conscious of its economic role in local communities, and is committed to be a responsible citizen open to public opinion.
6.4.2. The Bank realizes that its wellbeing is directly derived from the wellbeing of the local community. Hence, the Bank is actively involved in addressing the most pressing social challenges facing local people, and offering support to certain groups of local households.
6.4.3. The Bank is consistent in bridging communication with local communities in those areas where its impact on their positive evolution would be most effective.
6.4.4. Driven by its strategy and available resources, as well as local business demands and specifics, the Bank has identified the following priorities in supporting local communities:
Increasing the financial literacy of local households;
Supporting healthcare, a healthy lifestyle and sports;
Promoting education and research;
Sponsoring culture and the arts;
Assisting socially vulnerable groups of local households.
6.4.5. The Bank credits its employees with participating in corporate social and charity activities of the Bank, and encourages their initiatives that meet the principles of this Policy.
6.5. Environmental impact management
The Bank’s priority in managing environmental impact is cost efficiency due to reduced consumption of resources.
6.5.1. The Bank is committed to being environmentally friendly, including efficient consumption of resources, such as energy, paper, fuel, etc.
6.5.2. The Bank shares the “green office” concept with the aim of reducing negative impacts on environment, and also enhancing the environmental awareness of employees.
6.5.3. As a global company, the Bank abides by the IFC’s Equator Principles concerning environmental and social impacts.
In striving to disclose more information in addition to mandatory annual financial statements, the Bank is developing its own system of non-financial reporting, which is currently binding for most developed countries.
When drafting and submitting CSR reporting, the Bank adheres to the following principles:
The Bank may submit an annual non-financial (social) report reflecting its CSR activities and progress made in implementing the Policy;
The Bank complies with provisions of the Non-Financial Reporting Protocol and may prepare an annual non-financial (social) report under the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines;
When preparing such non-financial reports, the Bank shall take into account the information needs of its stakeholders;
The Bank shall upgrade its non-financial reporting by streamlining data collection, processing, analyzing and presenting;
The Bank shall gain the trust and confidence of its stakeholders in the information disclosed in non-financial reports by auditing such information both internally and externally.
Responsibility for Policy implementation
Principles of this Policy shall be binding upon each of the Bank’s employees. Responsible for compliance with the Policy shall be the employees of the Bank’s divisions in charge of CSR activities.