Our commitment to Financial Health and Inclusion
Thursday 02 December 2021
UniCredit is the first Italian bank to sign the commitment to Financial Health and Inclusion as further proof of the bank’s strong social responsibility and dedication to building an inclusive economy for all its stakeholders.
A group of 28 banks under the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) has founded a collective commitment to promote universal financial inclusion and foster a banking sector that supports customers’ financial health. UniCredit is one of the founding signatories and the first Italian bank to sign this new commitment as testament to the bank’s strong social responsibility and dedication to building an inclusive economy for all.
Andrea Orcel, CEO of UniCredit, said: “At UniCredit we believe banks have a social responsibility that goes far beyond lending and providing financial services. We exist to have a positive impact in the communities we serve, and to support entrepreneurs, the young, and the most vulnerable to succeed now and in the future. We believe in action, not words. To that end, we have provided more than 348 million euros in loans to support social entrepreneurs and initiatives that will have a positive and meaningful social impact, and we have also supported more than 77 thousand students through financial education programmes and a further 20 thousand people through other learning initiatives. We are determined to do more.
We know that a strong, inclusive economy is better for all, and SMEs are an important part of this.
We have provided more than 30 billion euros of state guaranteed loans and more than 32.6 billion of moratoria since the outburst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are extremely proud to be the first Italian bank to sign this collective commitment to financial health and inclusion, an important step in progressing towards a more sustainable, as well as a more inclusive and equitable, society in the long-term.”
Banks joining the Financial Health and Inclusion commitment must set relevant targets within 18 months of signing and regularly report on these, supported by measures to drive necessary change in one or more of the following areas: financial and non-financial products and services, internal processes, data analytics and partnerships. Such measures could include affordable bank accounts, accessible ways of making payments, suitable credit offerings, financial education, as well as improved credit and risk policies to mitigate over-indebtedness.
Accelerating action towards universal financial inclusion is of paramount importance in the fight against inequalities worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic. This commitment focuses on unbanked, formerly banked and underbanked individuals, households, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and will help financial institutions further contribute to creating and maintaining inclusive societies. In doing so, the collective commitment will also support several United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, including addressing poverty (SDG1), gender equality (SDG5), decent work and economic growth (SDG8) and reduced inequality (SDG10).