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Anatoly Pechatnikov: ESG products should be available to clients of any large bank

Anatoly Pechatnikov: ESG products should be available to clients of any large bank
Photo: pixabay.com

VTB considers it necessary to introduce financial instruments for sustainable development into the retail product lines of the largest banks. These include, in particular, ekoypoteka, loans for electric vehicles, ESG savings, digital cards, paperless technologies, etc. This statement was made by Anatoly Pechatnikov, Deputy President and Chairman of VTB Management Board, at the first ESG- (P) Evolution Responsible Business Congress.

“The themes of conscious consumption, environmental protection and social responsibility came to the fore on the global agenda during the pandemic. Many people talk about the ESG approach, but for large-scale changes, the implementation of an appropriate strategy and motivation of the population, specific steps are required from business, government and society. Domestic banks should play a very important role in this matter. In our opinion, the Bank of Russia should not only develop clear criteria and standards for the ESG policy, but also make it mandatory to introduce such products and services into the lineup of the largest market players - by analogy with the launch of the Fast Payment System. It is important for the banking industry to quickly switch to uniform standards, monitor the efficiency of their implementation and provide millions of customers with the opportunity to contribute to ESG initiatives not in the distant future, but today, ”Anatoly Pechatnikov emphasized.

The top manager also noted that as part of the ESG strategy, leading banks should provide support to users who are moving to the principles of responsible consumption, citing VTB's initiatives as an example.

“In September, we were the first on the Russian market to launch an eco-library and soft loans for electric cars. We strive to minimize the use of paper in the daily work of offices by transferring up to 100% of products and services to digital channels. We recommend that all customers abandon plastic media, either by issuing a card at VTB Online, or using an alternative ekovariant made of polylactide. For socially unprotected categories, we offer additional premiums to government payments, as well as health insurance and protection from fraud. New tools will allow millions of clients to solve their usual financial issues, while caring for the development of the whole society. However, the full-scale implementation of ESG principles without the participation of the entire banking industry will be impossible, ”said VTB Deputy Chairman.

By 2025, VTB intends to involve the majority of its clients in sustainable development projects. Already today, they have access to an ekoipoteka (discount to the base rate is up to 1,6 p.p.), a program of concessional loans for electric cars (a rate of 3% or more), digital products and virtual cards, the emission volume of which exceeds 800 thousand. By 2023, demand for cards without physical media will grow to 40% of the total issue.

When registering banking services, VTB uses paperless signing technologies. By the end of 2021, VTB will launch a new format for a bank branch in test mode - offices without people. VTB channels are adapted for use by people with disabilities. Projects “Velobike”, “Give a forest to a friend”, “Clear water” programs, projects to improve financial literacy and other initiatives to achieve social change are being implemented.

Earlier, Andrey Kostin, President and Chairman of the Board of VTB Bank, announced the launch of VTB's ESG platform - an infrastructure for ESG transformation completely open to partners and clients of the bank, including a set of financial products and services that meet environmental, social and corporate governance standards. In total, the perimeter of the ESG platform includes about 20 areas of VTB Group activities.

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