DBA presents White Paper Performance Indicators on Human Rights

Under the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement, parties and banks agreed to jointly explore options for greater transparency including the development of meaningful and effective performance indicators to report on business and human rights (article 6.10.a).
Annual report 2017 IMVO bancaire sector © Shutterstock

As a result of joined efforts, the working group proudly presents its white paper on performance indicators that are aligned to the UNGP Reporting Framework. The working group hopes that this unprecedented document can guide banks when developing their own performance indicators.

In the period September 2018 end October 2019 the working group organised several session to gather input from all relevant parties. During these sessions it became clear that one set of performance indicators for all the adhering banks was not deemed feasible. As the difference in size, type and loan portfolio would make one set of performance indicators too general to be effective and meaningful. Therefore this whitepaper provides both small, medium-sized and large banks with examples of meaningful and effective performance indicators to report and steer on business and human rights.

UNGP Reporting Framework

The working group concluded that it would be useful to align the development of human rights performance indicators with the UNGP Reporting Framework, which is already used by several Dutch banks. Performance indicators aligned to the UNGP Reporting Framework are unprecedented and could be innovative and helpful tools for financial institutions. With the help of Shift the working group provides clear examples of performance indicators related to the different elements of the reporting framework which can guide banks when developing their own performance indicators.

Although some suggestions may be more meaningful to some banks than to others, the working group hopes that this document can inspire and guide individual banks when developing their own meaningful and effective performance indicators, in order to work towards human rights performance transparency.

Caroline Rees (Shift): “Financial institutions are uniquely positioned to be powerful change agents, through their responsibility and capability to shape rights-respecting business behavior. As co-creators of the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework, Shift is pleased to see that the parties and adhering banks to the Dutch Banking Sector Agreement have taken this framework as the basis to develop performance indicators tailored to their sector. We hope that this resource will be widely used and guide financial institutions to better understand, evaluate, and continuously improve their own human rights performance and that of their corporate clients."