HDFC Bank is an Indian bank established in 1994. Its main business is financing, by way of loans, the purchase or construction of residential houses or commercial real estate, in India. Therefore its three business lines are retail banking, wholesale banking and treasury. As of 2021, HDFC Bank had INR 2.52 trillion in total assets and 141,579 employees.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, the responsibility for sustainability issues within HDFC Bank lies with the board-level CSR and ESG committee. The financial institution publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The HDFC Bank has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect human rights. In terms of workforce diversity, the financial institution discloses the proportion of women in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category. HDFC Bank also discloses the amount of finance it directs towards usually excluded groups, namely street vendor, as well as small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The financial institution has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and is committed to respecting the health and safety of workers.
There is no evidence that HDFC Bank links the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. Moreover, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only 3 out of 11 board members are women. The financial institution has an opportunity to reach at least 40% female representation in senior leadership positions and on the board. It could also disclose the ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category, as well as actions taken to address any pay gaps. Regarding engagement, HDFC Bank has an opportunity to describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with clients and investees, across all of its financing activities.
There is no evidence that HDFC Bank discloses a target to reach net-zero financed emissions by 2050. Furthermore, no evidence of an approach to fossil fuels, which covers the entire fossil fuel value chain and all of the financial institution’s financing activities, was found in the public domain. This could include the amount or share of finance directed towards fossil fuels, or the financial institutions stance on financing companies with new fossil fuel projects. The financial institution has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, specifically on alignment with the Paris Agreement. It could also disclose its financing activities devoted to climate solutions. Regarding nature and biodiversity, HDFC Bank has an opportunity to commit to minimising its negative impacts.
There is no evidence that HDFC Bank describes the process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts through its relevant financing activities. Moreover, while the financial institution provides a grievance mechanism accessible to workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights, and bribery and corruption, concerns or complaints, it should specify that the complainant has the choice to identify themselves or remain anonymous. To support transparency on financial inclusivity, the financial institution has an opportunity to disclose the amount of finance directed towards low-income developing countries.
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Revenue: INR 1 trillion; Total assets: INR 2.52 trillion