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A responsible bank-insurer

The basics: responsible business operations

Responsible business operations, of course, start with the company itself, but the commitment of every employee is also essential.
 

Respect for laws and regulations

  • We comply strictly with all laws and regulations. We also respect the prevailing rules and practices of the finance sector and have set out our policy in a Compliance Charter and an Integrity Policy. We insist that every employee is properly protected by laws and regulations and in turn expect them to abide by the agreements we have entered into.
  • We expect every employee to adopt a responsible and honest attitude to their profession when dealing with customers and partners. Relations with our staff, as well as between employees themselves are based on integrity, loyalty, transparency, professionalism and mutual respect. This is not easy to encapsulate in a set of guidelines, although we have drawn up policies that are clear and transparent for everyone.
     

A list of all Policies & Charters can be found on our corporate website. 

We expect every employee to adopt

a responsible and honest attitude to their profession

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Featured: an upright, fiscally transparent taxpayer 

  • Belfius aims to be a responsible taxpayer that takes account of the interests of all the parties involved: employees, customers, shareholders, the government and the community at large;
  • Belfius abides scrupulously by all of the fiscal laws and procedures to which the Bank is subject and does not tolerate fraud;
  • Belfius will withhold and pay to the taxman all taxes and levies owed by the customer, as required by law. Belfius will also provide information to all Belgian and foreign tax authorities, with maximum respect for the privacy of its customers;
  • Belfius organises its business in a tax-efficient way, as required by sound corporate governance. Everything it does must be underpinned by valid business considerations that are relevant and transparent in content;
  • Belfius does not wish to operate in tax havens and focuses exclusively on the Belgian market for its commercial activities. We retain entities in Luxembourg and Ireland for very specific purposes, as detailed in the 2019 annual report
     

The aims, guidelines and responsibilities of our fiscal policy are set out in detail in the Fiscal policy memo for the Belfius Group.

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Opting for maximum positive impact

To create long-term value for the Belgian community, we have to make clear choices about what we do and what we don’t. We go looking for areas where we can have the greatest impact and avoid making choices that have a negative effect.

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Investing savings deposits as much as possible back into the Belgian community 

Whoever saves at Belfius can be sure that virtually all of his or her money will be reinvested back into the Belgian community and the local economy. This will be in the form of loans to families, businesses, local authorities, schools and care centres.

In 2019, 94% of customer savings were invested in the Belgian economy[1]: for every 100 euro saved[2], 33 euro went to mortgages for Belgian families, 2 euro to personal loans, 32 euro to business loans for Belgian companies and professionals and 27 euro to financing government projects. Out of the remaining 6 euro, we invested another 2 euro in Belgian state bonds:

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[1] This breakdown has been calculated for Belfius Bank (without the Insurance business)
[2] Commercial deposits in the broad sense (current accounts, savings accounts, term deposits, retail bonds, savings bonds)

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New bank and insurance solutions

By coming up with new banking and insurance solutions Belfius invites every customer – personal, business-owner or company – to participate actively in this transition to a more sustainable society.

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Analysis of ESG factors

We look at all of our activities under the ESG microscope (ESG = impact on the Environment, Social welfare and sound Governance) so that we can limit any undesirable effects they might have on people and the environment – or avoid them altogether.

From there follows a series of new and tighter policy guidelines through which we impose restrictions on ourselves in terms of specific sectors and activities that we consider as non-sustainable. Read our policy on sector limitations in detail on the Belfius website.

In 2019, Belfius began the application procedure to become a signatory of the following leading international sustainability standards:
 

  • UN Global Compact
  • UN Principles for Responsible Banking
  • UN Principles for Sustainable Insurance
     

Belfius will formalise and extend its policy on Human Rights by reporting on its activities on a “best effort” basis from 2021, in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business & Human Rights and the Equator Principles.

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Governance of CSR within Belfius
  • A transversal ESG steering group is responsible for implementing and applying the ESG strategy. The ESG steering group reports to the Management Board and the Board of Directors.

  • The CSR manager is responsible for the day-to-day sustainability policy within Belfius, coordinating the ESG steering group and dialogue with stakeholders.

  • The CSR committee is a working group within the social consultation process of Belfius Bank. It is a permanent think-tank on corporate social responsibility. The CSR committee puts practical programmes in place and makes staff aware of ecological and social issues.

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