KBC Groep is an integrated Belgian bank-insurance group, headquartered in Belgium. The bank focuses on private clients and small and medium-sized enterprises in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. It was founded in 1998 through the merger of Kredietbank, the cooperative CERA Bank, ABB Insurance and Fidelitas Insurance. It had 40,000 employees in 2021.
The responsibility for sustainability issues within KBC Groep lies with the highest governing body. Moreover, the bank publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment. In terms of its approach towards impact management, KBC Groep acknowledges that its financing activities have both positive and negative impacts. It also identified and prioritised its impacts through a materiality assessment process which included feedback from external stakeholders. Furthermore, the bank has a sustainability report where it describes its engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics with clients and investees.
KBC Groep discloses absolute financed emissions as well as the underlying data quality and coverage of its financed emissions. As a member of Climate Action 100+, the bank’s asset management arm discloses that it collectively engages with its investees on the topic of climate change. Regarding climate solutions, KBC Groep discloses a target that 65% of their energy loan portfolio will consist of renewables by 2030. It also discloses progress against this target. Moreover, the bank is committed to minimising its negative impacts on nature and biodiversity.
KBC Groep has publicly available policy statements committing it to respect human rights and the ILO core labour rights. It also has a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers to raise human rights complaints or concerns. KBC Groep discloses a global tax strategy as well as income tax payments for all its tax jurisdictions. In a public policy statement, the bank discloses its approach to lobbying and political engagement in addition to its lobbying expenditures. It also takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption. Regarding diversity, the bank discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age group, race or ethnicity, and gender. It also discloses the amount of finance it directs towards usually excluded groups and SMEs.
In terms of senior leadership accountability, there is no evidence that KBC Groep links the remuneration of its executive or management teams to sustainability performance criteria. Women are underrepresented on the board of directors where only 5 out of 15 board members are women. Moreover, the bank has an opportunity to disclose the ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men in its total direct operations workforce for each employee category and how it is addressing any pay gaps.
There is no evidence that KBC Groep discloses a target to reach net-zero financed emissions by 2050. Regarding engagement, the bank has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, specifically on the alignment with the Paris Agreement. It could also disclose that it requires companies to which it provides financial services to have a strategy aligned with the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, KBC Groep could align all its green financing with internationally recognised frameworks. No evidence was found regarding the bank’s approach to fossil fuels that spans across the fossil fuel value chain and its financing activities, such as the amount or share of finance it directs towards fuels, or its stance on financing companies with new fossil fuel projects.
KBC Groep has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. There is no evidence that the financial institution has a publicly available policy statement committing it to respect the health and safety of workers. Moreover, the bank has an opportunity to disclose the amount of finance directed towards low-income developing countries.
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Revenue: EUR 7.55 billion; Total assets: EUR 340.34 billion