Sustainable governance

We believe that sustainability is the only path to growth: this is why we are committed to implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.

Our sustainable approach

The Bank and its people are focused on protecting households’ wealth with integrity, passion and dedication, with an emphasis on long-term objectives. A commitment to pursuing sustainable growth requires the vision needed to understand and anticipate the challenges of innovation and the other transformation of our society, an inclusive culture, openness to dialogue and an informed approach to creating value for the Bank’s stakeholders.

Integrity
Integrity and impartiality in the Internal Code of Conduct of Banca Generali and Code of Conduct of Generali Group. Attention, transparency and sustainability are at the heart of both the Responsible Investment Policy and the Sustainability Policy, the aim of which is to reinforce the protection of our customers. Trust is our most valuable asset.
Social Responsibility
We support a system where all can progress, with the aim of creating long-lasting value. We participate in welfare, cultural and sporting initiatives, with an eye to sustainable growth in the long term.
Innovation
We invest in innovation to create progress and meet our customers’ needs. Our confidence in technology has led us to create a service ecosystem that measures up to international best practices and capable of stimulating a dialogue that pursues and strengthens the potential of our services and the sustainable vision.

Our goal: a sustainable growth

A responsibility for taking a long-term approach is an intrinsic part of our way of doing business, focused on protecting wealth according to a long-term vision. Therefore, we promote sustainable development that listens to all our different stakeholders, seeking to understand their real needs and matching them to the Company’s business goals. Excellence in the wealth advisory market cannot ignore the focus on value creation for all stakeholders who participate in and interact with that market: shareholders, financial advisors, employees and their family, customers, suppliers, communities — with whom the Bank has daily contact.

Our sustainability strategy is characterised by:

  • sustainable growth over time, with entrepreneurial actions aimed at achieving long-term economic and commercial results, minimising risks related both to the volatility of the economic-financial scenario, and the inadequate planning of objectives, due to short-term needs;
  • people enhancement, encouraging the constant development of skills and professionalism and acknowledging the contribution of individuals to the success of the organisation;
  • sensitivity to the social context, participating in charitable, cultural and sports initiatives;
  • reduction of direct and indirect environmental impacts by taking measures to minimise the consumption of energy, paper and water, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to promote the energy transition towards an economy that protects the climate and biodiversity.

A new way to invest

Letter to stakeholders

Dear Stakeholders,

In 2020, Italy and the rest of the world suffered a setback of a nature and severity no one could have imagined. Italy has paid, and continues to pay, a considerable price in human lives as a result of the pandemic. Our first thought goes to the victims and their families, together with our gratitude for all those who are on the front lines in the fight against the virus — above all doctors and other health personnel.

The pandemic is having significant consequences at the social and economic level: the deepest recession since World War II has reflected in a decline in global GDP of more than 4% according to the OECD. In Italy, the most recent indications call for a decline in gross domestic product (GDP) of around nine percentage points. From the outset, the reaction of the competent monetary authorities in Europe and worldwide has been proportional to the gravity of this historical challenge, succeeding in stemming financial instability through unconventional measures. At the European level, there was also a change of pace with the preparation of the Next Generation EU, which is the largest package of stimulus measures ever set aside by the EU, designed to repair the socio-economic damage brought by the crisis, thus laying the foundation for a sustainable recovery in the 2021-2027 period.

From the outbreak of the Covid emergency, Banca Generali has striven to bring its support and contributions to individuals and the system. Its first concern was to ensure that those who work for the Bank enjoyed optimal safety conditions and to maintain the continuity of the services offered to its customers. Remote working measures for almost all personnel were accompanied by thorough safety protocols for physical presence in branches, which always offered full service. Digital tools and channels were thus upgraded for branch and network personnel, providing immediate, effective responses in day-to-day operations. Out of an awareness of the social responsibility of our role in the system, there was also no lack of timely, extraordinary initiatives in response to the emergency. The Bank immediately took action by setting up a fund to support healthcare facilities under pressure in the most critical days of the emergency and held a fundraiser amongst its personnel for those with ties to our Company who have also been affected by this terrible pandemic. Concrete initiatives to support Italy’s economy also went hand-in-hand with the concerns for the health emergency. In just a few weeks from the outbreak of the crisis, lending to customers and SMEs was enhanced with support from government guarantees. Overall, loan issuance increased sharply on the previous year. In addition, we launched new tools such as the SME loan securitisation “ItaliaNonSiFerma” together with Credimi and important financial partners, including Assicurazioni Generali, and innovative solutions such as an alternative investment fund and an ELTIF alternative investment plan that meet the twofold goal of funnelling funds into the real economy and businesses, thereby fostering a greater level of diversification and protection of private investment. All of this was also made possible by the tax incentives provided by the Italian government.

Solidity, social responsibility and focus on sustainability criteria are distinctive elements of Banca Generali’s history, and even in such a dramatic, complex scenario as that seen in 2020 with the escalation of the pandemic, the Company was able to draw on its unshakable roots in the community to further strengthen its mission: to be trusted professionals, constantly by the Customers’ side, to build and help them reach their life goals.

Market conditions and severe volatility in the initial phases of the crisis thus intensified investors’ fears and spurred the search for wealth protection. Spiking cash account balances are a clear reflection of households’ reactions to economic and social uncertainty. While the savings rate is rising, so is demand for advice to protect wealth and enhance proper investment planning, considering that traditional risk-free bonds have near-zero or negative yields. From this perspective, the sound expertise offered by our Financial Advisors and the reputational excellence offered by our brand — and by the Generali Group — fostered new opportunities for the Bank, which accelerated its growth process.

Net inflows neared 6 billion euros in 2020, with a new record in terms of total assets, which reached 74.5 billion euros. It bears emphasising in particular that a significant share of net inflows was into ESG products, which far exceeded the goal of 10% of assets under management set for 2021. Total net profit reached 274.9 million euros, posting the best performance of all time, owing to healthy growth of recurring revenue items and attentive cost management. All indicators are well in line with the goals of the 2019-2021 three-year plan, which will thus enter its final year with excellent visibility of the established targets.

Banca Generali began this year of crisis in a situation of great capital solidity. Nonetheless, in 2020 the Company followed the recommendation issued on 27 March by the Bank of Italy, updated on 16 December 2020, refraining from paying dividends in light of the situation of uncertainty and economic emergency in Italy. The recommendations on the limitation of the payment of dividends were then effectively extended until the end of September 2021.

Sustainability Policy and our Code of Conduct

Our Sustainability Policy outlines the system defined by the Banking Group for identifying, assessing and managing the risks connected with Environmental, Social and Governance factors in keeping with our goal of promoting sustainable development of business activities and generating durable value over time.

In particular, this Policy sets the rules to:

  • identify, evaluate and manage ESG factors that may pose risks and opportunities for the achievement of business objectives;
  • identify, evaluate and manage the positive and negative impacts that business decisions and activities may have on the external environment and on legitimate interests of stakeholders.

The Policy aims to integrate into business processes the Banking Group’s Sustainability model outlined in the Charter of Sustainability Commitments in force from time to time and approved by Banca Generali’s Board of Directors that defines the long-term strategic goals for doing business responsibly and living in the community, helping to create a healthy, resilient and sustainable society.

Internal Code of Conduct

In pursuing its growth objectives, we remain faithful to the fundamental principles that characterize its ethics, such as transparency, fairness and impartiality. These principles are reiterated in the our Internal Code of Conduct, which is in line with the rules of conduct reported in the Generali Group’s Code of Conduct.

The Internal Code of Conduct defines the minimum rules of conduct to be observed in dealings between colleagues, as well as with customers, competitors, suppliers and the Group’s other stakeholders and contains specific provisions governing the promotion of diversity and inclusion, protection of company assets, conflicts of interest, bribery, financial information and the processing of insider information, the prevention of money laundering, financing for terrorism and international sanctions.

Whistleblowing and AML/CTF Policy

To monitor compliance with the Internal Code of Conduct and in accordance with the applicable legal framework, we have adopted a whistleblowing procedure that makes it possible to collect, assess and manage reports of potential fraudulent phenomena, violations of internal rules and suspect behaviour. The procedure guarantees those involved protection from all forms of retaliation, discrimination or penalisation and ensures them the utmost confidentiality, without prejudice to legal obligations.

In addition, with the aim of combating money-laundering and the financing of terrorism, which constitute a serious threat for the legal economy and can result in destabilising effects, above all for the banking and financial system, we have adopted an Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) Policy. The AML Policy, approved by the Board of Directors, is part of the broader internal control system of our Bank, aimed at ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Materiality analysis and matrix

The materiality analysis is a tool for strategic reading of the Bank’s internal and external environment to identify the most relevant topics on which to focus our model for creating shared value and the related reporting, taking into consideration the expectations of our stakeholders.

We have used advanced semantic analysis methods based on artificial intelligence to update the materiality analysis and to bring to light the most relevant topics in 2020. These tools enabled a structured reading of a vast selection of document sources — both internal to the Bank and public – with a particular focus on emerging regulations and international sustainable finance guidelines.

The use of computational linguistics technologies was complemented by the assessments of internal management and stakeholders to draw up a list of topics in order of relevance and identify the top eleven as material topics.

The priorities thus identified are a clear reference to the 17 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

The correlation between the material issues and the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines are reported below, with a focus on their internal and/or external impact. 

The priorities that guide our sustainable business model are:

  • Business management and culture dissemination

This topic extends both to our commitment to combating active and passive corruption through an adequate assessment of the associated risks and the adoption of safeguards designed to mitigate them and to the adoption of tools intended to govern the behaviour and spread the values that are the foundation of our company and commercial conduct.

  • Governance and sustainable strategy

We have adopted a set of tools, rules, relationships, processes and company systems designed to ensure proper, efficient management of the organisation, with a particular focus on the challenges posed by the current environment and the management of new organisational models.

Moreover, the company strategy integrates environmental, social and economic considerations so as to create value for internal and external stakeholders from a medium-to-long-term perspective.

  • Data protection and cyber security

In harmony with the process of accelerating digitalisation, we are committed to developing and enhancing adequate means and technologies to protect data and information technology systems in terms of availability, confidentiality and integrity.

  • Investment protection and customer relations management

Our distinctive characteristics are our commercial model, based on a one-to-one relationship with our customers, and portfolio management focused on return and protection against all risks that, directly or indirectly, may compromise its value over time.

  • Innovation and sustainable products

For us innovation implies, on the one hand, investments aimed at increasing the technological infrastructures to support the new offering of digital products and services, on the other, a focus on social, environmental and corporate governance issues, which are taken into account when designing products and services, integrating ESG criteria in the investment strategy of customers to raise awareness among them, and to deepen their knowledge of sustainability issues. Accordingly, we have identified and selected specialised partners with which to develop sustainable finance strategies, products and services.

  • Business solidity

By ‘business solidity’ we mean the ability to maintain a strong performance over time and predict market trends, including through the renewal of the services offered, and development of robust organisational resilience in order to protect financial stability and business profitability.

  • Growth and development of human capital

We promote the development of a company model capable of attracting talent and excellent professionals and harnessing the skills offered by our personnel through growth processes designed to hone their abilities and consolidate their professional expertise.

We view people as the centrepieces of our strategy: as a result, we develop initiatives and measures of various kinds designed to ensure equal opportunity and respectful, fair and flexible working conditions, while also avoiding all forms of discrimination. These range from work-life balance programs, a focus on individuals and attention to households, to engagement, development of growth and training initiatives and action plans for diversity and inclusion.

  • Human capital protection

By ‘human capital protection’ we mean placing the protection of human capital at the heart of the organisation.

  • Stakeholder and community relations

We believe it to be fundamental to listen to, consult and constantly engage stakeholders to understand their needs, while also contributing to the development of the community and local area. We also regard banks as contributing significantly to institutional debate for the development of mechanisms for economic facilities/support for individuals and businesses.

  • 10. Risk management system

We have set ourselves the goal of adopting a system for identifying, assessing and managing risks that includes ESG factors in order to integrate them into our strategy and operating model so as to govern the transition towards more sustainable economic and business models.

  • Environmental impacts

To manage our direct environmental impacts, we have adopted policies aimed at enhancing efficiency and reducing consumption and greenhouse gas emissions; we also consider the indirect environmental impacts of investment activities on climate change and assess the climate risks of investment portfolios.

Discover our model of shared value creation to explore how the Bank translates these priorities into concrete initiatives that generate value that lasts over time and is shared with our stakeholders.

Dialogue with Stakeholders

We acknowledge as our stakeholders all those who contribute to achieving our goals, influencing our activities and allowing us to compete on the markets.

Stakeholders may be classified as follows:

  • Direct stakeholders: employees, financial advisors and shareholders who, for different reasons, are part of the Group structure;
  • Competitive stakeholders: Clients and contractual partners who, in their capacity, have an impact on business results;
  • Social-environmental stakeholders: the community, the environment and the financial community — the external context in which the Bank operates

An awareness of the central role played by our stakeholders in the process of sustainable growth has led us to engage in various forms of dialogue and discussion with them.

Institutions, businesses, media, NGOs and other organisations, opinion leaders, professional associations, non-profit organisations and the welfare industry

  • Local conventions on financial education
  • Press conferences
  • Company points of contact dedicated to media and institutional relations
  • Meetings with institutions and NGOs
  • Multi-stakeholder meetings
  • Website and mobile apps
  • Social activities, including in favour of community

Shareholders, investors, analysts and proxy advisors

  • General Shareholders’ Meeting
  • Media news
  • Meetings and interviews with analysts, investors and proxy advisors
  • Company points of contact and digital tools dedicated to relations with financial investors
  • Digital channels and social media

Suppliers and strategic partners

  • Meetings with the Bank and Networks
  • Working groups on common projects
  • Participation in local meetings
  • Media
  • Events

Employees and their families

  • Engagement survey (every two years)
  • Individual performance evaluation interviews and joint determination of development goals
  • Roundtables with unions and workers' representatives
  • Portal, newsletters, and house organ
  • Annual meeting with all employees
  • Events and initiatives
  • Internal meetings and cascading initiatives
  • Outdoor training sessions

Customers, customer households and consumers

  • Surveys on the level of satisfaction
  • Market researches
  • Dialogue with consumer associations
  • Communications channels devoted to customers (website, e-mail, toll-free phone number)
  • Media
  • Dedicated events
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Periodic documentation and in-depth reporting
  • Social support activities
  • Social media

The committees and management role for a Sustainable Governance

At Banca Generali, sustainability is an unquestionable strategic orientation supported by a strong internal commitment. In this regard, by amending the Rules Regulating the Proceedings of Meetings of Board of Directors and of Internal Committees, as approved on 11 May 2021, Banca Generali decided to integrate sustainability in its Managing Committee and all Board Committees.

The integration of sustainability in the aforementioned committees is briefly described below.

Internal Committees

  • Managing Committee

The Managing Committee is an advisory body set up to assist the company’s top management by subjecting the Bank’s most significant strategic and managerial aspects to in-depth assessment, as a panel. It consists of the CEO, the two Deputy General Managers and top managers. It is in charge of examining, on a half-yearly basis, all matters related to the Banking Group’s social, environmental and sustainability responsibility, in accordance with the guidelines and principles defined by the Nomination, Governance and Sustainability Committee. In this context, the Committee defines sustainability-related opportunities, risks, common objectives, targets, areas for improvement, content and reporting methods, and analyses the results set out in the Annual Integrated Report, discussing the achievement of the targets set, the difficulties faced and the problems still to be solved.

Board Committees

  • Nomination, Governance and Sustainability Committee

The Committee is responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Board of Directors on nominations, governance and sustainability. It supports the Board of Directors with integrating sustainability into the definition of business strategies, as well as the formulation of the materiality matrix; it oversees sustainability matters; it proposes to the Board of Directors any updates to the Sustainability Policy and all other internal policy documents that are ancillary and/or connected to the latter and designed to pursue the Sustainable Success of the Company and Banking Group; it examines the general outline of the sustainability reporting process; it formulates opinions and proposals regarding other corporate governance decisions to be made.

  • Internal Audit and Risk Committee

The Internal Audit and Risk Committee performs supporting functions for the body with strategic supervision functions with regard to risks and the internal control system. It also ensures that the risks and profiles connected to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors are thoroughly assessed in order to foster the Sustainable Success of the Company and Banking Group.

  • Remuneration Committee

The Remuneration Committee is responsible for advising and making recommendations on remuneration to the Board of Directors. It formulates proposals regarding plans, targets, rules and company procedures relating to social and environmental issues and, more generally, sustainability, in line with applicable laws and regulations.

  • Credit Committee

The Credit Committee performs preliminary, consultative and propositional functions in support of the Board of Directors regarding loans, particularly the evaluation of loan applications. In supporting the Board of Directors to the extent of its remittance, the Committee ensures that the Board may adopt all appropriate lending resolutions in accordance with an assessment of the risks underlying the loans that also take account of the risks connected to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.

Discover more and read the Rules Regulating the Proceedings of Meetings of Board of Directors and Internal Committees

Management

All the competences regarding sustainability are attributed to the General Counsel Area, within which the Group Sustainability Service was established, with the task of coordinating the structures of the banking group on strategic sustainability projects.

We also formed a team of about 30 ESG Champion colleagues, who support the spread within the various organizational structures of innovation processes and change management functional to sustainability strategies.

Sustainability Documents

Find out more about the internal regulatory system guiding our sustainable banking model and other key sustainability documents.