ATHENS (BUSINESS WIRE) – The Principles for Responsible Banking were presented today for the first time in Greece at an event organized by Piraeus Bank with Mr. Yannis Stournaras, the Governor of the Bank of Greece, as the keynote speaker.
The event was organised as part of Piraeus Bank’s commitment to the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). Piraeus is the only Greek bank to be a member of the global initiative, which includes twenty-eight banks from around the world, representing over USD 17 trillion in combined assets.
Mr. Yannis Stournaras, the Governor of Bank of Greece, highlighted in his speech that the Bank of Greece fully supports the Principles for Responsible Banking and urges all of the banks to endorse the Principles and set ambitious targets. The Bank of Greece was one of the first central banks to become involved with the climate change issue, establishing the Climate Change Impacts Study Committee in 2009 and investing in one of the most significant Sustainable Development Goals, namely Goal 13, which focuses on climate action.
The Chairman of Piraeus Bank, Mr. George Handjinicolaou, commented: “The Principles show how the financial industry can lead the way toward a more sustainable society at a global level. At Piraeus Bank we believe the adoption of the Principles for Responsible Banking are a competitive advantage and declare that together with other banks from around the world, we will work for a sustainable economy, for a better future for us and for future generations”.
Mr. Christos Megalou, Chief Executive Officer of Piraeus Bank noted: “Piraeus Bank’s decision to be actively involved in the creation of the Principles for Responsible Banking, as a member of UNEP FI, was a clear choice. The goals for sustainable development, social contribution, and responsible banking behaviour are fundamental components of our strategy, and resonate well with our business model and our new values of accountability, meritocracy and transparency”.
Mrs. Simone Dettling, UNEP FI Banking Team Lead and the coordinator of the 28 banks that created the Principles, spoke live from Geneva, about the Principles and the challenges banks face globally in adapting to the new environment.
The event was attended by representatives of the Hellenic Bank Association, other Greek banks, the Αcademia, research institutions, sustainability networks, business associations and international accounting firms.