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 September 2016 a new policy on this sector was issued.
"In accordance with the values and principles expressed in the Code of Ethics and mindful of the need to support national and European defence, along with NATO allies, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group does not support transactions that relate to the production and/or sale of armaments, even if permitted by prevailing law, in countries that do not belong to the European Union and/or NATO. It also confirms the prohibition on implementing any type of banking activity or financing related to the production and/or sale of weapons that are controversial and/or banned by international treaties, and more especially: nuclear, biological or chemical weapons; cluster bombs and munitions; weapons containing depleted uranium; landmines.
More specifically, apart from transactions involving weapons that are controversial and/or banned, transactions and financing are permitted for the production, domestic trading, import, export, transfer within the EU or transit of armaments used on a definitive basis by the armed forces and applicable relative organisations or local police forces:
in and between countries belonging to the European Union and/or NATO;
without regard to the country of production and/or origin of the armament if the end-user is an Italian ministry or governmental entity, the armed forces or Italian police.
Any exceptions must be authorised on an exceptional basis by the Managing Director and CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo, subject to the opinion of the Chief Compliance Officer.
The Bank will provide annually a 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.