Corporate social responsibility has been a policy priority of financial supervisory agencies in recent years, and the financial sector is responding. At a time of record profits in the sector, financial institutions have deepened their commitment to sustainable operations on many fronts. They have also applied core competencies to give back to society and live up to their responsibility, and the expectations of the public, as good corporate citizens.
Given the trend, Fubon Financial Holdings has compiled a summary of the many external risks the Company will be facing with the help of the six teams under the ESG Task Force. The risks include problems created by an increasingly aging society, the impact of climate change, shifts in investment trends, challenges brought by advances in technology, and effective communication with outside stakeholders.
The Fubon ESG Visioning Project relies on five major strategies – Leading Investment, Innovative Finance, Golden Practices, Honest Lending and Tender Care – to cope with the challenges posed by these different risks. It has also incorporated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) articulated by the United Nations in 2015 to foster sustainable and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection.
As part of the project, Fubon Financial Holdings and its subsidiaries are enlisting core competencies to develop innovative products and digital financial services that will give consumers greater convenience, make social assets more resilient and bring the financial sector’s influence to bear in a positive way. At the same time, credit guidelines and investment policies are being devised that will fully take into account risks and opportunities in the economic, environmental and governance domains. This greater scrutiny of the sustainable operations strategies of potential borrowers or investment targets will ensure that Fubon’s investments and loans result in positive outcomes.
Fubon is also responding to transformational changes in global investment trends, strengthening green lending and responsible investment practices as investment shifts away from petrochemical-led heavy industry toward soft power-oriented light industry. Support for the cultural and creative sector, art and sports has also continued, and this injection of funds to nurture top young artists and elite athletes has boosted Taiwan’s soft power.
In recent years, innovation has been a hot topic in financial circles, with mobile services that deliver service more efficiently becoming a major development trend in the sector. Fubon Financial Holdings has established a FinTech Office and is also cooperating with digital services companies in the Fubon Group, academia and research institutes to study FinTech applications through the Internet, blockchain technology and digital marketing. The apps developed will offer customers an even more convenient and secure financial environment and move Fubon a step closer to becoming a low-carbon company.
Fubon Financial Holdings remains intent on setting the bar even higher for corporate governance with taking the international risk management practices as benchmark. Potential risks in business activities and operating processes will be taken into account in ongoing efforts to optimize the Company’s risk management system, and Fubon’s core value of ethical management will be safeguard by a robust compliance system. To protect stakeholders’ interests, different channels of communication geared to specific stakeholders have been set up through which their concerns can be answered in real time.
In the future, Fubon will devise tangible plans of action to gradually achieve 12 of the U.N.’s sustainable development goals, including good health and well-being, quality education, decent work and economic growth, action on climate change and sustainable cities and communities. As the Company expands its regional presence to create the most complete financial platform in Greater China, these initiatives will enable Fubon to spread positive energy and do its utmost for global sustainability to help make the world a better place.