At the end of the day, everyone should ask themselves, “Is my activity contributing to change the world for the better?”

Laurent Dupuch, Chairman of the Management Board of UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, has explained to the magazine Forbes (Ukraine) about the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in business.

Transformation of the banking system

The banking system is currently undergoing a transformation process around the world, so Ukraine is no exception. There are two main factors for change: the first is related to certain regulatory changes, the second – to a significant drop in key rates this year in Ukraine.

Besides, today’s transformation processes are taking place on the background of the COVID-19 crisis. In this situation, we need to continue to work, serve our clients and develop a number of digital banking products. Digital banking is growing fast.

During the pandemic, it became clear that banks needed to continue to play their social role and serve the customers under any circumstances. After all, we are at the center of the economy.

Today, our priorities include continuous operation, employees protection, and digitalization of products and services. I am confident that we will fight COVID-19 and perhaps return to the format of work that existed before the pandemic. But at the same time, we can get benefits in this situation in the form of new products and solutions that, for example, can allow our customers – both individuals and small and medium-sized businesses – to work with us completely remote.

Sustainable development 2021

UKRSIBBANK is part of the international BNP Paribas Group and we cannot stand aside from urgent issues that concern the whole world. We have several key areas, in which we are actively implementing sustainable development projects

One of the priorities of our daily work is to have a positive impact on the environment and society. We do our best to reduce pollution, promote a transition to renewable energy, and support customers working in the area of environmental protection.

Our next priority is communicating the information and engaging in CSR projects all the stakeholders: shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers, as well as implementing this approach in practice.

There could never be too many corporate social responsibility projects. We can always do more.

The COVID-19 crisis has shown that CSR projects require high engagement to get a positive impact on society and the environment.

Another important program for us is related to gender equality. Today, only 25% of women are business owners or are appointed to managerial positions. Of course, this number should be higher. We have developed and launched the Women in Business program, organising seminars and meetings to help women gain more confidence in their projects. By the way, in UKRSIBBANK the number of women in managerial positions is quite high and is equal to 60%.

The best future of the world

Many companies believe that CSR is only a charity activity, but this is not true. Companies need to look at their actions from a global perspective and think about their effect on the society in 20 years. Every business should ask the question: “Is our activity sustainable? Does it have a positive impact on the environment and society?”. Let me give an example of one of such steps for UKRSIBBANK: at the Group level, we have decided to cease financing and investment activities related to tobacco industry. And this decision was taken already 3 years ago.

For us, being a successful bank in a constantly changing world means to take responsibility for a better future for this world. This is one of the important points of our manifesto.

To do this, we first need to play the role of the bank in full: manage customer assets, finance projects, provide a range of products and services, taking into account the impact on the future society. In this way, we can contribute to the economy and promote business development, while implementing CSR projects will help to create a better future for future generations.

At the end of the day, everyone should ask themselves a question, “Is my activity contributing to change the world for the better?” These are my personal beliefs because it is important for me to take responsibility for these changes.

The text is published in Forbes Magazine, December 2020.

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