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Launch Fair Finance Thailand

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

First "Fair Finance" scores of 9 Thai banks launched; Kasikornbank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank top charts, but still much room to improve

Bangkok, April 24, 2019 – “Fair Finance Thailand” coalition launched results of their first assessment of nine Thai banks’ policies based on Fair Finance Guide International criteria. FFGI is both a global network and a suite of indicators used for measuring the ‘fairness’ of financial institutions, originating in the Netherlands. It has been used to drive ‘sustainable banking” initiatives in 9 countries including Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Thailand is its 10th member country.

Results from using FFGI methodology to assess banks’ disclosed investment and financing policies reveal that Thai banks’ scores are the lowest among 10 countries in the FFGI network; in addition, Thai banks received an average score of 12.6%, while the average score of the other 9 countries is 46.7%.

Sarinee Achavanuntakul, head of the research of Fair Finance Thailand coalition, said that “Thai banks’ scores reflect ample room for improvement, especially on credit policies that take into account human rights as well as negative social and environmental impacts. On the bright side, many banks have become much more active in protecting consumer rights, compared to the past, thanks in part to Bank of Thailand’s recent market conduct regulations.”

12 topics based on international standards for sustainability that are adopted for policy assessment under FFGI methodology include: climate change, corruption, gender equality, human rights, labor rights, nature, weapons, tax, consumer protection, financial inclusion, remuneration, and transparency and accountability. Top-three highest ranking banks are Kasikornbank at 17.5%, Siam Commercial Bank at 14.7% and Krung Thai Bank at 14.2%.

It is notable that, in the midst of rising awareness of impacts from global warming, only Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank have disclosed policies related to climate change. In addition, no bank receives any point on nature, illustrating that there is a lack of clear policy in providing, or not providing, financial support to industries that have demonstrably high natural and environmental risks.

For gender equality policies, only Bangkok Bank and Kiatnakin Bank receive scores in this topic from the disclosure of clear policies. For human rights, a fundamental issue that the private sector is becoming more aware, only Kasikornbank and Siam Commercial Bank disclosed the adoption of United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP), while the actual enforcement remains to be seen.

Fair Finance Thailand published first-year results based on policy assessment of 9 largest domestic commercial banks: Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank, Krungthai Bank, Kasikornbank, Bank of Ayudhya, Thanachart Bank, TMB Bank, TISCO Bank, and Kiatnakin Bank. Fair Finance Thailand was established in 2018 by one research company, Sal Forest Co. Ltd., and four civil society organizations: International Rivers, Foundation for Consumers, EnLaw Foundation, and Ecological Alert and Recovery (EARTH). All coalition members share an interest in monitoring impacts and challenges of the banking sector, especially from the view of social and environmental risks, as well as consumer expectations. The goal of this coalition is to
encourage Thai banks to adopt genuine “sustainable banking” practices that are in line with United Nations’
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Results of the first assessment as well as methodology details can be found at www.fairfinancethailand.org.
The coalition also maintains “Fair Finance Thailand” Facebook Page.

You can read the executive summary here


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For more information please contact
Polpot Sriprachan (Sap) Tel. 08-1614-5191 email phonphot.subbook@gmail.com
Archiraya Atwanich (Achi) Tel. 09-1748-8666 email archi.athavanich@gmail.com

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