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, an inclusive culture, openness to dialogue and an informed approach to creating value for the Bank’s stakeholders.

Transparency
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 the different stakeholders, seeking to understand their real needs and matching them to the Company’s business objectives. 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, customers, suppliers — 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 lower pollutant emissions.

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 finan- cial 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 contri- butions 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 ope- rations. 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 emergen- cy 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 securi- tisation “ItaliaNonSiFerma” together with Credimi and important financial partners, including Assicura- zioni 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 Gene- rali’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 ri- sk-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 re- ached 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.

Charter of Sustainability Commitments and Responsible Investment Policy

As a result of these strategic choices, Banca Generali received by Standard Ethics, an independent sustainability rating agency, a full investment grade sustainability rating of EE for the third consecutive year.

Our objective is to protect and improve the lives of people and businesses by correctly managing their assets and savings, and this is what we do every day.

We support a system where all can progress and thrive, with the aim of creating long-lasting value.

Within this process, we are aware of our direct responsibility to our Customers, Shareholders, Employees, Suppliers and all other Stakeholders involved in our business. We aim to build and maintain relationships based on trust with them.

Our mission bases on excellent, reliable leadership: we aim at standing with authoritativeness side-by-side with our partners to understand the financial, social, environmental and governance impact generated by our business; promoting a transparent, solid and mutually responsible relationship, with a view to increasing the satisfaction and trust that our customers place in our brand. The values, principles and goals that characterize these choices are in the Charter of Sustainability Commitments and the Responsible Investment Policy, the main aspects of which are listed below.

Materiality analysis and matrix

The materiality matrix, in line with the Generali Group’s guidance, identifies a number of significant themes that are pursued with concrete actions, for sustainable growth that does not lose sight of the social function that every responsible enterprise must have. This analysis resulted in the identification of 21 main topics in 6 different macro-areas: community, governance, social responsibility, economic responsibility, product responsibility and environmental responsibility.

Given the nature of the business and with a view to focusing our efforts, we have identified, in particular, a selection of SDGs to which to refer more closely.

The formation of the Nomination, Governance and Sustainability Committee within the Board of Directors, the structured internal control system and the policies and procedures in place with regard to preventing corruption and ensuring sound management of the business bear witness to our commitment to developing effective and inclusive institutions. 
We view people as a key asset to our strategy and develop various initiatives and measures designed to ensure equal opportunity and respectful, fair working conditions and to avoid all forms of discrimination: work-life balance programmes and focus on people and family, engagement activities and personal development and training initiatives, as well as a diversity and inclusion Action Plan.
We focus on social, environmental and corporate governance issues, which are taken into account when designing products and services, with an offering that integrates ESG criteria in the investment strategy of customers to raise awareness among them, and educate them on sustainability issues. For this reason, we have identified and selected specialised, dedicated partners with which to implement ESG-related strategies, products and services, such as MainStreet Partners, specialised in identifying sustainable portfolio solutions and impact investments. 

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. 

Social and personnel-related themes

1. Creation of employment and responsible M&A management
The issue of employment, together with economic instability, has a major impact on the manner in which company reorganisations are managed.

2. Attraction of talent and development of human capital
In an increasingly competitive and selective market, it is crucial to be able to rely on expert and motivated resources who are capable of meeting the challenges of the sector. It is also important to manage the risk of a lack of interaction and the proper organisational balance.

3. Engagement of employees and promotion of a shared culture
Boosting employee motivation and commitment to achieve objectives is important in order to maintain a common and shared corporate vision.

4. Human rights, diversity, inclusion and equal opportunities
The highest international standards require the utmost respect for diversity, in its various meanings, non-discrimination and equal opportunities.

5. Fair remuneration and incentives
A remuneration system based on internal fairness, competitiveness, consistency and meritocracy, by directly linking commitment and recognition of merit, allows long-term value creation at all levels of the organisation.

Topics relating to responsible management

6. Transparency in business management
In a context where it is increasingly easy to access information and the rate of its dissemination is ever faster, transparency in conducting business is an essential condition for building long-term relationships of trust.

7. Prevention of corruption
In a trust-based industry such as the banking sector, the promotion of business ethics and the prevention of corruption play a fundamental role in protecting a company's reputation and credibility, business efficiency and fair competition.

8. Responsible personal data management (data security)
The quantity and quality of personal data available today require diligent and professional management to ensure data confidentiality.

17. Greater regulatory complexity
At Italian and European level, increasingly stringent regulatory obligations, affecting various areas of interest, are being introduced.

15. Dealings with business partners
In a context where customers use multiple channels to proactively gather information and often prefer a direct interaction with their Financial Advisor, relationships with business partners are key in the provision of services.

12. Engagement and development of communities
The development of the communities in which we operate is related to the business, but also to the activities and exchanges that take place with enterprises, associations and other organisations located in the area.

Topics relating to customer management

9. Quality of customer experience
An essential feature of the relationship with the customer is the ability to offer a unique and distinctive experience, maintaining and strengthening the trust on which the key moments of the relationship are based.

10. Long-term protection of customers' household wealth
The relationship that our Financial Advisors establish with their customers must allow them to offer investment solutions that preserve the value of household wealth over time and provide for generational transfer with products/services able to seize market opportunities without suffering market volatility excessively.

11. Consumers’ financial education
The growing production of regulations, the distinctive nature of insurance and financial products and the uncertainty of market dynamics require training/educational schemes to be disseminated to raise customer awareness. 

13. Development of products and services
Customer needs and requests are constantly changing and evolving in response to the possibilities offered by technology.

14. Business innovation for the digital customer
The internet and mobile technology continue to spread and consumer attitudes are changing.

16. Responsible investments (ESG investing)
The environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) dimension of investments is becoming increasingly important for future sustainable development.

Environmental topics

18. Climate change and natural disasters
Climate change is already taking place and natural disasters are on the rise, representing a serious threat to the world economic development. In this scenario, climate risk mitigation and compliance strategies are key factors in boosting the resilience of communities at global level. 

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

Voluntary codes

In pursuing its growth objectives, Banca Generali remains faithful to the fundamental principles that characterize its ethics, such as transparency, fairness and impartiality. These principles are reiterated in the Internal Code of Conduct of the Bank, 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.

The Code is applied to all Group personnel, including members of administrative bodies. In addition, the Group expects that third parties (consultants, suppliers, etc.) adhere to the principles enunciated in the Code when they act on the Group’s account.

The Code shall be published on the company’s Intranet in order to ensure it is duly circulated among all recipients concerned.

Formulation of the Code implies the existence of further specific codes, regulations, guidance procedures and company policies issued to deal with any industry regulatory requirements or for any Bank decisions to comply with best practices for the sector. These include, for example:

  • the Whistleblowing Procedure that defines and formalises the principles and criteria adopted by Banca Generali regarding the reporting by Bank employees of deeds or actions that could constitute a breach of rules governing banking activity and the resultant handling of such reports;
  • the Policy for managing money-laundering and financing of terrorism designed to regulate the manner in which obligations relating to anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism legislation are managed through the adoption of suitable organisational control mechanisms; 
  • the Conflict of Interest Policy, adopted by Banca Generali in 2007 following the entry into force of the Italian legislation adopting MiFID into national law, the most recent update to which has been in effect since 1st January 2019. That Policy lays down the approach taken to identify actual and potential conflicts of interest, describes circumstances that may give rise to conflicts of interest, defines the measures to be used to manage such circumstances and specifies the organisational model for managing conflicts of interest, the purpose of which is to ensure that conflicts are managed efficiently over time. The Conflict of Interest Policy has been approved by the Board of Directors; 
  • the Code of Ethics for the Generali Group’s suppliers, adopted by Banca Generali, which lays down the principles of conduct and the resulting behaviour expected of its contractual partners (consultants, suppliers, etc.) when they act on the Group’s account.

The role of committees in 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

Discover our numbers of sustainability

Concrete and measurable actions that demonstrate our commitment to sustainability, always thinking in perspective and keeping in mind the needs of all our stakeholders.