The Brazilian BankWiser or the “Guide for Responsible Banking” (GBR) is an information tool for those interested in knowing and comparing bank policies relating to corporate social responsibility. More than that, the tool does the job of clarifying the various aspects of bank’s CSR in Brazil. For Idec, social responsibility is directly related to promoting consumers and labor rights, and must also be observed in the core business of the banking activity, such as the adoption of stringent social and environmental criteria for financing.
Having this in mind, the GBR presents a Ranking of banks based on the evaluation of a questionnaire answered by the six largest Brazilian financial institutions, which raises questions about policies relating to “Consumers”, “Workers” and “Social-environmental criteria for financing”.
Besides the evaluation of the performance of banks in the responses to the questionnaires, the GBR 2012 also presents other studies regarding banks practices in CSR.
In relation to the "Consumers" issues, it was developed by Idec a banking practices research in the year of 2012. For six months, Idec opened accounts at banks and evaluated procedures related to: account opening; service done by the Consumer Assistance Service and the Ombudsman; hiring credit; account conversion; the early settlement of personal loan; and the closure of the account. In total, 56 practices were evaluated according to the Brazilian Consumers Defense Code and to the Central Bank Rules. Besides all this, Idec updated the Consumers Complaints Index, which consolidates the results of valid complaints registered by the Central Bank and the ranking of founded complaints of Procons (States Consumers Defense Organization), published annually in the National Registry of Substantiated Complaints, prepared by the Department of Defense and Protection Consumer, of the Ministry of Justice (DPDC / Senacon / MJ).
With regard to labor issues, the Banks Labor Union (Contraf-CUT) submitted the questionnaire regarding policies towards “Workers” to a committee of bank workers coordinators. Meetings were held at the headquarters of the Labor Union and groups of two to four representatives from each bank met to answer the questionnaire. These responses allow Internet users to know what workers say about bank policies and compare with banks answers.
In what concerns to the "Criteria for Social and Environmental Financing", three surveys were conducted by Friends of the Earth - Brazilian Amazon. The first is an exposition of the composition of the loan portfolio of the six major banks in the sectors of Agriculture, Fishing, Mining and Forest Management. The second study examines the environmental performance of banks with respect to the first guideline of the Green Protocol, listing products with social and environmental additionality and their financial volumes, in order to check how significant is their participation in the portfolio of each bank. Finally, the third study is a construction of a map of controversial projects financed by banks that have controversial aspects, from the point of view of environmental and social impacts, and that show incompatibilities with sustainability commitments made by banks.Goal
The Guide to Responsible Banking (GBR) aims to promote banks CSR through consumers support and mobilization.
Through this assessment tool, consumers can track the performance of the largest banks in the country and use this information to better guide their choices and also demand positive changes in their banks.
Besides the presentation of several studies, the GBR provides a tool to interact with banks by sending a yellow card. As more consumers start to demand more responsible policies and practices from the standpoint of social and environmental issues, there will be more competition among banks and, consequently, a change in behavior across the financial sector.History
Inspired on a survey conducted in 2008, Idec published in 2011 the GBR with the support of Oxfam Novib. Such research had contributions of banks to respond to questionnaires about their policies regarding Consumers, Workers and Social and Environmental Criteria for financing. Alongside the policy questionnaires were carried out research on banking practices.
After the release of the survey, in December 2011, the Idec submitted to the banks an evaluation of the GBR’s methodology which resulted in contributions to the improvement of the research in its version of the year 2012.
The redesign methodology also was based on analysis by partners that integrate the Responsible Banking Guide, which are:
- Friends of the Earth Brazilian Amazonia
- National Confederation of Workers of the Financial Area - counterfeit / CUT
- Bank Workers Union of São Paulo, Osasco and Region
- Center for the Study of Labor Relations and Inequalities - CEERT
- Social Observatory Institute - IOS
- Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies - Dieese.
We recast the questionnaire sent to banks in 2011, noting a substantial change in its format, assuming a multiple-choice format with space for written additions. The choice of this new format aims to make more objective evaluation of responses and comparability between banks.
Unlike the 2011 version, in which the rank of the banks resulted from (1) grade for policies informed by the bank in response to the questionnaires and (2) grades regarding practices researches conducted by Idec, this year held the distinction of these different analyzes . Thus, the note of questionnaires answered by banks is presented separately from other surveys conducted by Idec and partners of the GBR. This separation has the intention to clarify that the surveys methodology are distinct, in order to highlight its specificities.