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Latest news: ESG in banking 

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7 May 2024

UK financial services firms and charities back new website to boost access to banking and credit for deaf people 

Financial services firms, charities and accessibility organisations have teamed up to support the launch of The launch of the website, sponsored by Nationwide, coincides with Deaf Awareness Week which runs from 6 May to 12 May. 

The new website aims to improve the experience of deaf people when engaging with banks and lenders. 

It brings together over 20 partners from inside and outside the financial services sector. These include Nationwide, Lloyds Banking Group & Barclays, in a joint initiative to boost deaf accessibility. As well as enhancing banking services, the initiative is designed to promote awareness of the challenges faced by deaf people. 

Specifically, the website features an innovative interface to bring banking services together with deaf customers. 

In addition, it provides resources and guides for deaf people and financial services firms. This will help deaf customers navigate banks’ accessibility support and signpost accessible financial advice helplines. Support on the site will be available in both plain English and BSL. 

7 May 2024

12 million Brits are deaf or have hearing loss

Breda Leyne of ESquared, said: “signingbanks.UK is built on the belief that everyone, regardless of their hearing ability, deserves seamless access to financial resources and services. Through innovation, advocacy and collaboration, we are determined to bridge the gap between the financial sector and the deaf community. 

“We will be working hard to promote the needs of deaf customers, share existing good practice and technological innovations, and to highlight outstanding gaps in service provision.” 

Kathryn Townsend, Head of Customer Vulnerability and Accessibility, Nationwide, added: “We believe in making banking accessible, inclusive and fairer. That is why we are delighted to be sponsoring the new website. The ethos behind the website and the support and content it aims to provide means it will be a crucial resource in helping to achieve that ambition. Collaboration is key to ensuring that deaf customers have access to all the vital financial information they need. So, we are pleased to be working with the wider financial services industry on this new site.” launch partners include: AIB, Bank of Ireland UK, Barclays, Capital One, Chase, Cooperative Bank, HSBC/First Direct, Lloyds, Metro Bank, Monzo, National Debt Line, Nationwide, NatWest, NewDay, Phoenix Group, Sainsbury’s Bank, Santander, Starling, StepChange, Tesco Bank and PRA Group. 

7 May 2024

Progress made by UK financial services sector in offering better accessibility support to deaf customers: LSB 

Also timed to coincide with Deaf Awareness Week, a report from the Lending Standards Board flags up progress made by UK banks and lenders over the last 12 months in offering better accessibility support to deaf customers. 

In the UK, one in five adults are deaf, have hearing loss, or tinnitus. Hearing loss affects more than 40% of people over 50 years old and 70% of people over 70. LSB research has highlighted the challenges deaf people face when accessing financial services. 

The LSB’s latest report reveals that progress has been made in a number of areas including: 

  • The availability of remote-access British Sign Language (BSL). This is now offered by 73% of surveyed LSB registered firms, up from 55% in 2023. 
  • Access to lip speaker services increasing from being available at 36% of surveyed registered firms to 45%; 
  • The availability of note takers, rising from being offered at just 9% of surveyed registered firms in 2023 to 45% in 2024 
  • Enhancements to firms’ digital services, with online BSL translation available through 18% of surveyed registered firms in 2024, up from 9% in 2023. 

18 April 2024

ING, Optiver and Exegy to join Sustainable Trading 

Exegy, ING and Optiver are the latest organisations to join Sustainable Trading, the non-profit organisation dedicated to transforming Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) practices in the global markets trading industry. 

Exegy is a global provider of real-time trading technology, while Optiver is a global market maker. 

They join a global membership network of investment managers, banks, brokers, exchanges, trading platforms and service providers committed to improving the sustainability of global markets. Following the completion of the first phase of work, members are now making progress as they implement the Sustainable Trading Best Practices and use the associated measurement framework to track progress and benchmark themselves against peers. 

Sustainable Trading will launch in collaboration with Global Trading (formerly Best Execution), to gather insights into the experiences of employees working in the global trading industry, in order to provide market participants with a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by trading employees and how to better support their workforces. 

Duncan Higgins, Founder and CEO of Sustainable Trading, said: “We are delighted to welcome Exegy, ING, and Optiver to our membership network. Their extensive experience of global markets, and common commitment to driving a more sustainable future for the financial industry, will bring invaluable insights to Sustainable Trading. Their participation further strengthens our collective efforts to drive positive industry change and greater sustainability in the global markets trading industry.” 

16 April 2024

Finastra integrates AI ESG scoring into trade and supply chain finance offering 

Finastra has announced that it has integrated AI-powered ESG scoring capabilities into its working capital solution, Trade Innovation. 

The integration, with CoriolisESG by TradeSun, enables users to book and manage trade and supply chain finance with the added benefit of automated insights into ESG scoring. 

This results in a greater understanding of the sustainability of trade and helps organisations to better monitor and manage their impact.     

The solution measures key data against globally-recognised frameworks 

Iain MacLennan, Head of Trade and Supply Chain Finance at Finastra, said: “Sustainability is a growing imperative in the world of trade and with the continued emergence and development of regulations in this space, organisations must ensure they can measure their impact to help meet the worldwide ESG mandates and understand where risk can be better managed. That vision is now possible for users of our Trade Innovation technology. Delivering this out-of-the-box integration aligns closely with our company purpose to unlock the power of finance for everyone and our mantra of ‘doing well by doing good’. We look forward to helping our customers gain valuable insights into their ESG data for trade.” 

The solution enhances enterprise intelligence and resilience by measuring key entity data against globally-recognised frameworks, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the EU Taxonomy. 

Captured information provides insight into international business activity, risk assessment, regulation compliance, geopolitical risk, due diligence and supply chain analysis. 

15 April 2024

Fils partners with Aion to Boost ESG across the Middle East 

Fils has formed a strategic partnership with Aion. This collaboration aims to set new standards in sustainable finance, leveraging technology to drive meaningful change in the financial industry across the MENA region. 

Leveraging the combined strengths of Aion’s technical proficiency and Fils’s API-first platform, financial institutions will be able to integrate multiple products and customised solutions that are focused on sustainability and climate action, helping to ensure substantial business value and user engagement. 

Nameer Khan, CEO of Fils, said: “This partnership with Aion represents a pivotal step forward in our mission to help banks embed ESG values at the core of financial services. Together, we are poised to introduce innovative solutions that will empower consumers and businesses alike to make more informed, responsible financial decisions that are not only good for customers but for the planet as well.” 

Together Fils and Aion will work to deliver a range of initiatives for banking clients, including ESG scoring systems, sustainable investment platforms, and green financial products, designed to support sustainable economic growth and social welfare. These initiatives are expected to launch in the coming months. 

Ashar Nazim, Aion Group CEO, added: “Today we launch our ground-breaking Green APIs from Aion platform. People and businesses in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the larger MENA region can now conveniently spend, save and transact in a manner that is beautifully aligned to their ESG values. Joining forces with Fils will accelerate this momentum.” 

11 April 2024

Adyen and UNICEF launch partnership to accelerate progress for children worldwide  

Global payments platform, Adyen, and UNCIEF have launched a global partnership, in pursuit of a shared, innovative vision to shape brighter futures for children worldwide. The collaboration is rooted in a commitment to advance Sustainable Development Goals. Specifically, the partnership utilises Ayden’s financial technology. It will provide a seamless way to generate funds at scale and accelerate progress for children everywhere. 

“Innovation, speed, and scale are three core principles that we live by at Adyen. By enabling our merchants and their consumers to seamlessly support UNICEF’s mission, we have a unique opportunity to drive significant progress for children worldwide,” said Ethan Tandowsky, Chief Financial Officer at Adyen. 

“This partnership underscores our fundamental belief in making good decisions not only for our customers and our business, but also for the world at large.” 

Adyen’s ‘Giving’ product enables businesses to easily integrate donations into their payment flows. This innovation simplifies the traditionally complex process of activating digital consumers. Leveraging their combined strengths, Adyen and UNICEF are dedicated to making a meaningful difference to the lives of children around the world. To encourage new businesses to activate donations at checkout, Adyen will match donations made via ‘Giving’ for the first three months of a new campaign. 

“Support from our partners, like Adyen, helps us to respond to the increasing number of crises that threaten children’s lives. Adyen’s innovative technology capabilities will help ensure faster and easier payments. This allows UNICEF to swiftly provide lifesaving help to children and their families, when and where it matters the most,” added UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kitty van der Heijden.