One year on: Sovcombank shares progress implementing the UN Principles for Responsible Banking

Secretary-General António Guterres (centre) poses for a group photo with the signatory Bank Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the Principles for Responsible Banking.

Moscow, 22nd September 2020 – To mark 1-year anniversary of signing the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, Sovcombank together with other signatories is sharing the progress and experience. The changes that banks have put in place to implement the Principles have helped them respond to the ensuing COVID-19 crisis and guided them as they build back better.

Sovcombank offered different support programmes for its SME clients that suffered considerably during the pandemic. As at 30 June 2020, the total amount of loans provided to SMEs and corporate clients exceeded RUB 30 billion. The majority of these loans were provided to clients from the retail, transport and manufacturing sectors. For the six months ended 30 June 2020, Sovcombank issued approximately 30.1 thousand bank guarantees for public procurement, which was 15% of all such guarantees in Russia.

During all 12 months Sovcombank placed a particular emphasis on responsible and green financing, supporting SMEs, enhancing access to high-quality financial services all over the country, improving general financial literacy, developing human capital and promoting social responsibility.

One year ago, Dmitry Gusev, the CEO of Sovcombank, together with the world’s large banks CEOs, launched the Principles at a high-level event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Signatories committed to align their business strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals and the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

One year on, the number of signatories has grown to nearly 200 banks that collectively look after the business of more than 1.6 billion customers worldwide and represent around 40% of global banking assets. Over 300 staff members from 125 banks have joined working groups to develop the resources to implement the Principles and learn from each other. As the first Russian bank to sign the Principles Sovcombank actively participates in working groups and leverages the best global ESG practices.

For details please visit the official website:

Sovcombank is a universal bank with RUB 1.5 trillion in assets under IFRS. It employs 16 thousand, has 2,233 branches and mini-offices located in 953 cities and towns across 76 Russian regions. The bank serves 7 million customers, including 6 million borrowers and 1 million depositors. Its corporate customer base comprises over 200 thousand companies and corporations. Credit ratings (international scale): S&P: BВ, stable outlook, Moody’s: Ba2, stable outlook, Fitch: ВB, stable outlook. Credit ratings (national scale): ACRA: A+, stable outlook, Expert RA: ruA, positive outlook, NCR: AA-, stable outlook.

The United Nations Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector to mobilize private sector finance for sustainable development. UNEP FI works with more than 300 members – banks, insurers, and investors – and over 100 supporting institutions – to help create a financial sector that serves people and planet while delivering positive impacts.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.