(L-R): Jürgen Hammer, MD at SPTF Europe; Paulette Lenert, Minister of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action; Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance; Laura Foose, MD at SPTF; Credit: MFIN

On Tuesday 26 February 2019, Luxembourg's Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, and the Minister of Cooperation and Humanitarian Action, Paulette Lenert, participated in the launch event of the Social Performance Task Force (SPTF) Europe, at the House of Microfinance.

The SPTF, created in 2005, aims to contribute to the establishment of a responsible and transparent financial services sector on its results. It has developed and promotes standards and good practices in responsible inclusive finance. Its social performance management tools are used by organisations and businesses to define, measure and monitor their social goals and put clients at the centre of their attention.

As already a regular partner of the main players in the microfinance sector based in Luxembourg, the SPTF, which has been located in Washington DC, has since January 2019 established a presence in the Grand Duchy through the creation of the SPTF Europe non profit making organisation (asbl) which benefits from the support of the Luxembourg Cooperation and the Ministry of Finance.

Laura Foose, Executive Director of the SPTF, stated "Over the years, the SPTF has grown to more than 3,000 members in 127 countries, and its work has gained practical application and broad sectoral visibility. Its work helps to create and maintain a responsible financial industry culture. Our vision is for social performance management to become a standard business practice, used to realise the social promise of inclusive finance."

Today, the ideas initially developed within the microfinance sector have become widespread. Jürgen Hammer, managing director of SPTF Europe, observed "the promise of microfinance has become an imperative for the global economy, with social, societal and environmental responsibility being demanded of all economic actors."

Minister Pierre Gramegna stated "The Luxembourg financial centre, which is today a globally recognised platform for sustainable finance, will allow SPTF to further promote standards and good practices in the management of social performance, and extend their scope to responsible finance. With 61% of global assets under management in microfinance, Luxembourg is a prime location for SPTF's European activities."

Minister Paulette Lenert noted "the goal of creating a positive social and environmental impact through closer cooperation with the financial sector is at the heart of our new development strategy. Our commitment to key players such as the SPTF will enable us to make a greater contribution to sustainable development goals than we would expect from a country of our size."