Yves Biewer, Chairman of the Management Board of Banque Raiffeisen; Credit: Banque Raiffeisen

Banque Raiffeisen, Luxembourg’s leading cooperative financial institution, has published its first non-financial report: a document highlighting the bank’s sustainability strategy.

The publication of this report based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) methodology is an important step in the implementation of the bank’s sustainability strategy. Aware of its role in the emergence of a responsible and sustainable transition, Banque Raiffeisen has thus confirmed its cooperative character and its desire to remain close to its customers and members, but also its concrete actions in the area of sustainability. These actions are in line with the bank’s commitment to the United Nations Environment Programme “Finance Initiative Principles for Responsible Banking” (UNEP FI PRB), which are part of the UN sustainable development programme.

“By placing people at the core of its activities, Banque Raiffeisen offers products and services that meet ESG [Environmental, Social and Governance] criteria in line with its socially responsible approach to combating global warming and social inequalities", explained Yves Biewer, Chairman of the Management Board of Banque Raiffeisen.

Despite last year being marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, Banque Raiffeisen demonstrated its agility and resilience, supported by robust governance. Having quickly put in place all the health measures to protect all of its staff members and customers, the bank continued to ensure availability.

The figures for the 2020 annual report confirmed the relevance of the strategy implemented by Banque Raiffeisen, a strategy which prioritised cooperative values, proximity to customers and ambitious but prudent governance, as well as strong and concrete commitments to sustainability.

With 36 branches throughout the country (86% of which are accessible to people with reduced mobility), in addition to the Online Branch and the R-Net online bank, Banque Raiffeisen has also been working alongside the self-employed and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Against this difficult background, in order to continue to participate in the development of the country’s socio-economic fabric, the bank joined in the national economic stabilisation programme initiated by the Luxembourg government: loans granted to private companies and public institutions increased by 9%, 1,085 entrepreneurs were supported in their professional projects and the bank also supported the financing of projects with a positive impact on the country, particularly through the financing of renewable energy infrastructures, the preservation of biodiversity, public transport and drinking water supply.

At the same time, Banque Raiffeisen has expanded its range of products and services to include ESG issues in order to meet the expectations of private customers who are concerned about the impact of their investments. The launch of the R-Eco personal loan enables people to finance the purchase of a new low-emission vehicle or energy renovation projects at a preferential rate.

In Private Banking, a comprehensive offering of sustainable investment solutions reflects this same responsible approach. Based on internationally recognised certifications, the bank is able to provide a suitable package for every customer who wishes to invest sustainably.

Eager to promote talent and develop skills, the bank supports its employees in their professional lives and in the development of their areas of expertise, particularly in the realm of sustainable finance. Banque Raiffeisen promotes an inclusive culture which allows everyone to develop their full potential around shared values. This responsible approach to financial education for all, with a particular focus on young people, aims to strengthen the prevention of over-indebtedness and to stimulate entrepreneurship.

In addition, Banque Raiffeisen aligns its initiatives with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which address the needs of society to protect natural and economic resources, ensure environmental preservation and work towards a better ecological transition. The bank is committed gradually to reducing its carbon footprint and waste through the digitisation of processes, awareness-raising on eco-actions and the modernisation of its branch network.