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18.02.2019

Center-invest Bank is ESG Banking Leader in Russia

On 18 February the Board of Directors of The Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) ratified Center-invest Bank’s membership of the organisation. The Alliance is a network of more than 50 banks from around the world, whose aim is to use finance to deliver sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

The executive director of GABV, Dr Marcos Eguiguren, visited Center-invest Bank’s head office in Rostov-on-Don in early February. His objective was to find a Russian partner that shares the Alliance’s values: responsible investment in the real economy, long-term customer relationships, openness and transparency in business, and a strong corporate culture.

Dr Eguiguren believes that a sensible attitude to finance should be embedded in a financial institution’s strategy. Center-invest Bank complies fully with global ESG principles, and implements a business model that focuses not on immediate profits, but on long-term development in the interests of current and future generations of customers, investors, employees and partners, and the regulator.

The bank’s senior managers spoke to Dr Eguiguren about our special banking programmes, which are unique in Russia, our socio-educational projects, and our strategy "ESG Digitalisation of Center-invest Bank’s Ecosystem." Dr Eguiguren also visited one of our Financial Literacy Centres.

"Center-invest Bank’s experience has long been considered an example of international best practice in socially responsible banking," said Sergei Smirnov, chairman of the Executive Board of Center-invest Bank. "Dr Eguiguren was very interested in our unique experience in financing energy efficiency projects, women’s enterprise, social enterprise and start-ups, and also in how we have developed our corporate culture."

Center-invest Bank was the first in Russia to enter the international market of social investments: in 2017 the Swiss fund ResponsAbility Investments AG became one of our shareholders; Vigeo Eiris ranks us 17th out of 76 European banks; we have retained a Ba3 (stable) rating from Moody’s Investors Service; and we have an A(RU) national scale credit rating from ACRA, outlook stable.

GABV’s members are committed to the following fundamental pillars of economic, social and environmental sustainability:

Principle 1. Triple bottom line approach — a business model focussing on people, planet and prosperity (PPP).

Principle 2. Serving the real economy

Principle 3. Client centred: understanding their activities and effective management of the risks involved, so that they become more values-based themselves.

Principle 4. Long-term resiliency: a long-term outlook, resilient to outside disruptions

Principle 5. Transparent and inclusive governance: transparency in governance and reporting, in the interests of clients, shareholders, management, employees and society.

Principle 6. All of these principles embedded in the culture of the bank

Center-invest Bank shares these principles. It runs successful socio-educational projects for the benefit of current and future generations; creates unique products for small business with a focus on the new generation of entrepreneurs; and transforms the population’s savings into support for the region’s real economy.