As part of efforts to ensure that the ecosystem is preserved, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday rolled out guidelines on the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles.
This is just as the apex bank expressed readiness to commence the assessment of the skills, qualification, experience and competencies of staff currently occupying controlled functions in banks.
The guidelines on sustainable banking are aimed at integrating environmental and social policies into decision-making processes in commercial banks, discount houses and development finance institutions.
The CBN disclosed this in a circular tagged: “Implementation of Sustainable Banking principle by Banks, Discount Houses and Development Finance Institutions in Nigeria,” a copy of which was posted on its website.
The circular signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, Mr. Chris Chukwu, also aims at minimising or mitigating the negative impacts of financial institutions’ operations on the environment and local communities in which they operate.
The guidelines consist of the Nigerian sustainable banking principle on agric sector, power sector and the oil and gas sector.
According to the regulator, for the successful implementation of the principles the institutions would be required to develop a management approach that balances the environments and social (E&S) risks identified with the opportunities to be exploited through their business activities.
“The adoption of the principles will not only help banks in mitigating the E & S risks associated with their business operation and those of their clients, but also help them to achieve greater efficiencies and better position them to take advantage of opportunities in the global market place where environmental and social issues are becoming increasingly important.
“They will also enjoy higher productivity, higher staff morale, lower turnover and absenteeism due to strong employee relations and workplace practices. The CBN would need to provide the structural mechanism to encourage consistent and widespread implementation of the principles and develop its institutional capacity to support the banks in their implementation of the principles,” it added.
While noting that the process of developing the sustainable banking principles and guidelines has so far been driven by the banks, the apex bank assured that it will create the enabling environment for banks to succeed in their implementation of the principles.
Continuing, the circular on the “Assessment of Competencies Nigerian Banking Industry,” also obtained on its website said: “This will enable the bankers’ committee identify at the preliminary stages, gaps that would impeded effective implementation of the framework. It is important to remind stakeholders that the list of controlled functions is not exhaustive as other important roles and responsibilities may be added to it.”
It requested the names, academic qualification, years of experience, and other important details of the affected bank workers.