Business ethics and environmental standards
As a development-oriented commercial banking group, we continuously evaluate the relevance of our actions with regard to our concept of development, which goes well beyond the traditional notion of economic growth. Rather, it is related to a broader sense of responsibility towards the countries in which we operate. We as the ProCredit group continuously assess our actions and decisions, not only from the perspective of profitability and our clients’ needs, but also and above all against the impact they might have on society and the environment around us.
Ethical and environmental considerations are fully integrated into our business model. Treating colleagues and clients, as well as the societies and environments in which we work, with respect and a long-term perspective is central to our philosophy and our success. Our corporate values form the foundation of our business ethics. The following principles guide the operations of the ProCredit institutions:
We provide transparent information to our customers, to the general public and to our employees.
For example, it is our objective to ensure that customers fully understand the terms of the contracts they conclude with us, and we engage in financial education in order to raise public awareness of the dangers of intransparent financial offers.
A culture of open communication:
We communicate openly, fairly and constructively with each other. We deal with conflicts at work in a professional manner, working together to find solutions.
Social responsibility and tolerance:
We offer our clients comprehensive, well-founded advice. Before offering loans to our clients, we assess their economic and financial situation, their business potential and their repayment capacity in order to provide them with appropriate financial services and to avoid over-indebting them. In addition, we are committed to treating all customers and employees with fairness and respect, regardless of their race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, religion or belief.
We also ensure that requests for loans are evaluated in terms of the applicant’s compliance with our ethical business practices. No loans are issued to enterprises or individuals if there is any reason to believe that they make use of unsafe, environmentally harmful or morally objectionable forms of labour, in particular child labour.
High professional standards:
Our employees take personal responsibility for the quality of their work and always strive to grow as professionals.
Personal integrity and commitment:
Absolute honesty is required of all employees in the ProCredit group at all times, and any breaches of this principle are swiftly and rigorously dealt with.
Together with our mission statement, these principles represent the backbone of our corporate culture and are actively applied in our day-to-day operations. They are reflected in the ProCredit Code of Conduct, which translates the group’s principles into practical guidelines for our staff. To make sure that new employees fully understand all of the principles, our induction training programme includes sessions specifically dedicated to the Code of Conduct. Regular refresher training sessions help to ensure that employees remain aware of and committed to our high ethical standards and are kept abreast of new issues and developments which have an ethical dimension.
Every ProCredit institution has the following mission statement:
ProCredit Bank is a development-oriented commercial bank. We offer excellent customer service to small and medium enterprises and to private individuals who would like to save. In our operations, we adhere to a number of core principles: We value transparency in our communication with our customers, we do not promote consumer lending, we strive to minimise our ecological footprint, and we provide services which are based both on an understanding of each client’s situation and on sound financial analysis.
In our operations with business clients, we focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, as we are convinced that these businesses create jobs and make a vital contribution to the economies in which they operate. By offering simple and accessible deposit facilities and other banking services and by investing in financial education, we aim to promote a culture of saving and financial responsibility.
Our shareholders expect a sustainable return on investment over the long term, rather than being focused on short-term profit maximisation. We invest extensively in the training and development of our staff in order to create an open and efficient working atmosphere and to provide friendly and competent (customer) service for our clients.