Resources in 'Finance & Banking'

The finance and banking sector plays a vital role in the world’s economy. While the world gross domestic product was valued by the IMF at $87.5 trillion in 2018, the value of shares trading on stock exchanges was $77.6 trillion, accounting for 88.6% of the total amount of goods and services provided around the world. These numbers demonstrate that the finance and banking sector has substantial leverage over the global economy and is key for ensuring corporate respect for human rights.

Finance and banking institutions can cause, contribute, to or be directly linked to adverse human rights impacts. Examples of adverse impacts linked to the sector include a pension fund investing in private prisons that employ forced prison labor, investing in food and beverage companies that systematically buy produce from farms using child labor, or investing in companies that sources conflict minerals. Financial institutions may also contribute to human rights abuses by lending money to agricultural companies involved in land grabs, for example, or by funding infrastructure projects that displace Indigenous populations.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidance on Responsible Business Conduct for Institutional Investors call on businesses and institutional investors alike to ensure that, at a minimum, their activities respect the rights contained in the International Bill of Rights and the ILO Core Conventions. Where financial institutions, public or private, may impact people, they should uphold their human rights responsibilities by conducting human rights due diligence, including by adopting relevant company policies and processes. This responsibility extends to international development financing organizations such as the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and investment funds operated by national governments.

Read our statement on Making Finance Work for People and Planet

This report by Global Witness and partners calls for action to ensure strong regulation of the financial sector to avoid environmental, social and governance risks.

A Financial Industry Benchmark for Determining, Assessing and Managing Environmental and Social Risk in Projects

This document is a note from the OECD Secretariat regarding the understanding of the scope and applicability of the Guidelines within the financial sector. This concerns the description of the term “business relationships” and what is meant by this term under the Guidelines.

This paper explains the application of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the context of institutional investors.