In recent years, an increasing emphasis has been placed on companies and institutions’ responsibility for the environment and society. As important economic actors, financial institutions have a significant part to play in terms of CSR.
On 14 June 2018, the ABBL was awarded the “Entreprise Socialement Responsable” (socially responsible enterprise) label for the third time by the INDR. This label is doubly important for the ABBL, not only for itself as an enterprise with around 40 employees, but also for the entire banking and financial sector represented by the ABBL.
Indeed, the ABBL is committed to a responsible conduct of the financial sector as a whole in Luxembourg.
The ABBL’s CSR strategy is based on the 3 pillars of responsible commitment (governance – social – environment) and 6 main themes, which are:
- Respect for personal data
- Ethical behaviour
- Quality of services to our members
- Responsible recruitment and employment practices
- Sound, accountable governance
- The ABBL is committed to a responsible banking and financial sector in Luxembourg in accordance with the international standards and regulations in force
- The ABBL writes up opinions on pending legislation, taking its members’ opinions into consideration
- The ABBL proposes new regulatory frameworks and seeks to improve the quality of legislation. In particular, it is involved in the work of the High Level Committee for the Financial Centre (“Haut Comité de la place financière”)
- The ABBL issued an action plan on compliance with competition law (November 2017)
In this way, the ABBL aims to promote a modern and innovative regulatory environment, enabling the creation of optimal conditions for the development of new banking and financial activities, while enhancing the competitiveness of Luxembourg.
Sound, accountable governance
In 2014, the ABBL adopted new governance procedures to ensure better representation of its members on its board.
The internal rules are updated periodically to ensure that the ABBL operations meet requirements. Each amendment of the internal rules is made by Board decision following consultation with the Governance Committee and then ratified at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). The latest revision was adopted at the AGM in April 2018.
Beyond regulations, the ABBL encourages compliance with high professional standards and the values of integrity and professionalism. To this end, it develops recommendations for its members with the objective of setting ethical and responsible standards and behaviour. In this context, the following have been adopted, among others:
- A Code of Ethics (revised in 2016)
- Luxembourg Chapter for the ICMA Charter (2012)
- A Diversity Charter (2012)
Respect for personal data
Given the importance of respecting personal data, ABBL has drawn up three guides on data protection legislation (May 2018) for its members: the first guide is intended to assist members in implementing data protection regulations, the second focuses on the specific area of human resources and is aimed at HR managers, and the third is about big data and data analytics.
Quality of services to our members
The ABBL is an association at the service of its members and all of its stakeholders. It responds to their expectations and involves them in its activities.
In order to involve its members in its work, the ABBL has set up:
- 11 Technical committees
- 7 Clusters
- over 100 Working groups
- 12 Forums
- Approximately 2000 people
The ABBL shares its work and analyses with its members. It draws up documents to help its members to apply the regulations – for example:
- Guide to the FATCA agreement (December 2015)
- Common Reporting Standard Q&A (March 2017)
- MIFID 2 guide (September 2017)
- Guide to on-site inspections (March 2018)
The ABBL regularly organises conferences and ABBL Meets Members workshops (open only to ABBL members).
Members briefings are published to inform members about new legislation or to distribute specific information relating to the implementation of legislation.
Sharing with society
The ABBL shares its knowledge with society. A collection of useful information is made available on its website, most notably to help consumers of financial services better understand the banking world. These information are available on the Client Information dedicated page.
ABBL ensures transparency in its activities by distributing:
- Its annual activity reports
- Its guides and recommendations
- Its Corporate brochures
- Its Facts & Figures
- Its press releases
- Its information publications such as the Luxembourg Banking Quarterly
- Its newsletters: a weekly newsletter and a monthly newsletter are published
You will find more information about ABBL publications in the ABBL Media Library.
The ABBL provides information on its activities via its website and social networks.
Responsible recruitment and employment practices
- Collective agreement
As an employers’ association, the ABBL negotiates collective employee agreements in the banking sector. On 12 July 2018, the ABBL signed a new collective agreement that for the first time contained a specific chapter dedicated to CSR.
- In October 2015, the ABBL signed up to the Mediation Charter of the Luxembourg centre for civil and commercial mediation (CMCC)
- The Code of Conduct was revised in 2016 and now includes a clause encouraging our members to favour amicable conflict resolution and mediation
- ABBL, in coordination with the national institute for sustainable development and social responsibility (INDR) and the CMCC, has developed specific training in HR mediation to familiarise its HR managers with mediation tools. This training is part of the House of Training catalogue
- The ABBL HR manager underwent training on mediation tools in internal conflict resolution in 2016
- Equal opportunities
- The ABBL guarantees equal opportunities and promotes the employment of both older and younger people as well as diversity (9 nationalities, social audit)
- It partners with high schools to receive student trainees in work experience placements
- The ABBL participates in projects promoting integration run by the Government and/or associations. (for example: the ABBL is a partner in the Connection project of the Support Association for Immigrant Workers [ASTI] and provided a refugee with a six-week work placement in 2017)
- Safety in the workplace
- The ABBL ensures safety in the workplace. Specific individuals are responsible for safety (designated worker) and evacuation in the event of fire. Numerous employees hold certificates in first-aid training and defibrillator use. Recycling courses are regularly organised for all those who want one
- Information sessions on building and car park safety as well as evacuation exercises are organised annually
- In terms of health, the ABBL is a member of the ASTF and provides, in cooperation with the latter, the annual influenza vaccination, medical examinations and regular check-ups. Information sessions are organised on workplace ergonomics and health for those aged over 45
- To ensure the well-being of its employees, the ABBL endeavours to offer a balance between work and private life thanks to a flexitime policy, à la carte part-time work, working time accounts and the use of distance technologies
- Responsible recruitment
- Vacancies are published with Luxembourg’s National Employment Agency (ADEM), on the ABBL website, in newspapers and are also posted internally
- The ABBL has an in-house procedure to encourage responsible recruitment
- The selection process is non-discriminatory, with no age, gender, nationality or other restrictions
- Responsible behaviour toward employees
- Employees are given fringe benefits
- The ABBL seeks to promote the internal mobility of employees
- The ABBL sets up annual evaluations using a new form that incorporates employees’ expectations of their line managers
- The executive management aims to be open and available
- The ABBL aims to offer training that is adapted to its employees. A training plan is drawn up every year based on the annual evaluations
ABBL is committed to society
The ABBL is a founding member of the Luxembourg Inclusive Finance Network (InFiNe). Set up on 31 March 2014, this association aims to develop inclusive finance to combat poverty and promote access to banking services for the most disadvantaged.
- Financial education
- The ABBL organises a money week (D’Woch vun de Suen) every year to raise children’s awareness of sound money management. This event formed part of the European Money Week launched by the European Banking Federation (EBF). Working with teachers, volunteer coaches delivered courses to classes in cycle 4 (Luxembourg primary school) for pupils aged 10-12. Since the launch of Woch vun de Suen in 2015, 3260 students have taken part in the programme
- In collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, the ABBL has published a brochure, ABC vun de Suen, aimed at children aged 8-12
- In collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, the ABBL has launched a series of educational videos entitled “One Minute in Finance”, targeting customers of retail banks
- In December 2016, the ABBL set up the ABBL Foundation for Financial Education, which aims to support and promote:
– financial education both in Luxembourg and beyond its borders, including the organisation of related events
– professional training in the financial professions
– university training through the University of Luxembourg, notably by funding study grants
– research, notably by funding PhDs, post-doctoral theses and professorships
- Other actions: Regular CSR events
- The ABBL encourages its employees to rething their mobility behaviours by using various mobility services such as public transportation, bike, scooters or car-sharing
- The ABBL has signed a SuperDrecksKëcht® agreement in order to manage its waste better, and provides training to its employees in this respect
- Use of ecological cleaning products, local brands (drinks), fair-trade products, returnable/reusable packaging, rechargeable batteries for electronic equipment, recycled paper, etc.
- The implementation of conference call systems allows us to reduce the amount of air travel.
- Sanitary facilities are monitored to avoid overconsumption of water
- Where possible, suppliers are chosen according to their ethical and responsible commitment