KB Financial Group is a financial holding company established in 2008, as a result of the restructuring of KB Kookmin Bank. Today KB Financial Group offers financial services and products to its 36 million customers through 13 subsidiaries. In 2021, KB Financial Group had KRW 663.9 trillion in total assets.
KB Financial Group acknowledges that its financing activities have both positive and negative impacts. Additionally, it is a signatory of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative Principles for Responsible Banking and reports accordingly. The financial institution has identified and prioritised its impacts on local communities and the environment through a materiality assessment process which includes feedback from external stakeholders. The responsibility for sustainability lies with the environmental, social and governance (ESG) committee within its board of directors. The financial institution publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment and has been a signatory of the Women’s Empowerment Principles since 2019.
As a member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), KB Financial Group has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050. KB Financial Group also discloses the key sectors it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, and the rationale for choosing these priorities. The financial institution discloses that it has a KRW 1.1 trillion green bond issuance that it devotes to climate solutions.
KB Financial Group has publicly available policy statements committing it to respect human rights, the ILO core labour rights and the health and safety of workers. Moreover, the bank describes the process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts, as well as a global system to take action to prevent, mitigate or remediate salient human rights issues, that covers its financing activities. KB Financial Group discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age group and gender. Furthermore, it discloses the amount of finance it directs towards usually excluded groups and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The bank discloses a global tax strategy and income tax payments for all its tax jurisdictions. It states that it does not contribute to funds for political lobbying.
While KB Financial Group links executive remuneration to ESG key performance indicators which include carbon emissions reduction, the financial institution could clarify if the reduction is related to its financing activities or operational activities only. In terms of female representation in leadership positions, women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only two out of six board members are women. It has an opportunity to disclose the proportion of women in senior leadership roles as well as how it addresses any gender pay gaps. Furthermore, the bank could describe its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics related to clients and investees, across its financing activities.
There is no evidence that KB Financial Group discloses a target to reach net-zero financed emissions by 2050. While the financial institution discloses its rationale for engaging with certain sectors on the topic of climate change, it has an opportunity to disclose that engagement is specifically focused on alignment with the Paris Agreement. While its green bonds are aligned with the International Capital Market Association Green Bond Principles, the bank could align all its green finance activities with internationally recognised frameworks. Regarding nature and biodiversity, no evidence was found that the financial institution is committed to minimising its negative impacts or financing regenerative solutions.
KB Financial Group could establish grievance mechanisms accessible to all workers, external individuals and communities to raise bribery and corruption concerns, as well as human rights complaints, anonymously without fear of reprisals. Moreover, the bank could disclose the amount of finance directed towards low-income developing countries.
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Republic of Korea
Net income: KRW 4.41 trillion; Total assets: KRW 663.9 trillion