Dutch Banking Sector Agreement presents Increasing leverage report
This final Dutch Banking Sector Agreement (DBA) study on increasing leverage presents a selection of some major ‘topics’ that impact the exercise of leverage and the ability of the DBA parties to collaborate.
Nine topics that the parties and adhering banks identified as the most promising way forward were selected and used as a basis for follow-up actions. This final report provides an overview per selected topic: what the topic entails, how the working group tested these ideas in practice and to what extent this led to increased leverage of DBA parties and banks. Among the selected topics are: ‘Organizational aspects and internal governance of human rights’ and ‘banking sector capabilities and practices on human rights’; ‘human rights due diligence practices’; ‘use of incentives’ and ‘awareness and use of government in-country presence and networks’. This report builds on an earlier first study which was produced by the DBA SILA team and published in August 2018, which provided valuable input and the working group.
Sharing lessons learned
The opportunities described in the topics are not only relevant for the parties and adhering banks to the DBA, but are relevant for (non-Dutch) banks and financial institutions globally. Internationally, the level of awareness in the financial sector about human rights impacts is growing. The DBA parties and adhering banks would like to contribute to this development with their learned lessons in the DBA. Therefore, the working group decided that it would share the lessons learned from the implementation of the topics cards with the broader public. Hence, the working group encourages the financial sector to consider making use of the opportunities described in the topic cards if and where relevant.
Overcoming barriers for effective exchanges of information
The working group concludes that the subjects of client confidentiality and competition law have proven to be barriers for effective exchanges and that therefore parties and adhering banks explored other ways to exchange information. Outside the box thinking appeared to be important, as well as taking a “what works” attitude instead of a “what doesn’t work” attitude. Parties and adhering banks intend to use and further develop the innovative ways of exchange, to maintain and expand bilateral relations amongst parties and banks and to further explore the possibilities for increasing leverage presented in the remaining topic cards.
On the Increasing leverage working group
Dutch banks and other parties are working together to combat human rights violations. Apart from their individual commitments they have formed Working Groups to address specific problems. One of these Working Groups is the Increasing leverage working group, in which parties and adhering banks have worked together to conduct and publish a study on good practices of how to increase leverage.