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Ensuring appropriate conduct and culture in the financial services industry - New trends in the financial sector

The role of sustainable banking products in the financial sector

By Rüdiger Michael - Chief Executive Officer, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale

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A significant part of responsible conduct in the financial sector is the way of product development and own investments. In this context the role of sustainability becomes more and more important for the interests of customers, shareholders and employees. It is the basis for superior-quality products and services, ensures a robust risk profile and increases company value.

We are convinced that sustainable business will improve our economic performance in the long term. Therefore, Deka Group observes internationally recognised sustainability standards in its asset management product development, thus responding to the growing social and environmental requirements of institutional and private customers. We substantially increased our holdings of sustainable products from € 4.1bn to € 6.2bn within one year.

Sustainability is also important for our own investments. Since mid-2014, we have applied a sustainability filter for own investments in the Treasury banking book and are thus a pioneer amongst European banks of systemic importance. The filter for own investments operationalises exclusion criteria relating to the environment, armaments, human rights and corruption. This filter marks an important step towards a truly sustainable business policy.

Sustainability is also important for our own investments

Independent rating agencies evaluate Deka Group’s sustainability performance. Most assessments are carried out annually based on clearly defined standards that allow the sustainability performance of different companies to be compared with one another. The assessments of the rating agencies are a key performance indicator for us in the ongoing development of our sustainability activities.

Strategic sustainability positioning is for DekaBank’s business strategy even without EU policies a mandatory part. In our role as securities service provider for the German savings banks, we manage sustainably in economic, ecological and social terms, while considering the interests of our customers, employees and owners.