With a view to responsible management, the banks are called upon from multiple parties to be answerable for the decisions they make when granting loans to controversial sectors such as arms, nuclear energy, fossil fuel extraction, etc. In particular, pressure campaigns and public opinion and customer awareness campaigns are becoming more frequent, aiming to steer bank’s decisions.
Intesa Sanpaolo is aware of the importance of correctly and responsibly allocating credit, and focuses specifically on the in-depth study of issues associated with the most sensitive sectors. In recent years in-depth studies of the coal, waste-to-energy and water industries have been conducted and circulated within the Group.
Among the sensitive sectors monitored by the Bank on an ongoing basis, production and trade of military weapons hold particular importance. In 2015 a new policy on this sector was issued.
"In keeping with the values and principles expressed in its Code of Ethics and aware of the need to support national and European defense, together with the allied countries in NATO, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group will not support operations (loans and transactions) that relate to the production and trade of weapons and weapons systems, although permitted by applicable law, in countries that do not belong to the European Union and / or NATO. It reaffirms the prohibition to engage in any kind of banking activity related to the production of and trade in controversial weapons and / or banned by international treaties and in particular: nuclear, biological and chemical; cluster bombs and munitions; weapons containing depleted uranium; landmines. With the exception of operations concerning controversial weapons and / or banned by International treaties mentioned in the introduction, transactions and loans related to production, domestic trade, import, export and transit of weapons produced, traded and used definitively by the armed forces and related agencies, as well as by local police, are permitted in the following cases: a) in and between countries within the European Union and NATO; b) regardless of the country of production and / or origin of the weapons, if the end user is a Ministry, an Italian Governmental Authority, Italian armed forces or police. Any operations outside the scope of reference may be authorized on an exceptional basis by the Managing Director and CEO. The Bank will provide annually a public and comprehensive reporting on the transactions carried out in the Sustainability Report and on the Internet Sustainability pages."
In 2016 the total number of transactions reported to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, including loan disbursements and payments, amounted to 408 million euro.
A project is underway to produce a self-regulation policy for financing in sensitive sectors, starting from the coal and oil & gas industries.