Sector Standards Project for Financial Services

Standards for Banking, Insurance and Capital Markets

The importance of this Standard

The financial services Sectors Standards will be developed under the Sector Program. The project will see the development of three Sectors Standards for banking, insurance, and capital markets.

Financial services organizations are intermediaries between all other economic actors, allocating capital through investments, channeling funds from savers to borrowers, facilitating payments, and allowing people and companies to transfer risk. The significance of these sectors lies in their central position in the economy, in which few activities could function without credit, insurance, capital markets or payment services.

Banks, insurers and actors in capital markets have impacts through their own operations - such as employment practices, customer privacy, financial inclusion as well as investment activities. By investing in businesses that have human rights or environmental impacts, financial sector actors facilitate impacts that reach beyond their own operations.

Organizations operating in these sectors face the urgent challenge of aligning their operations and portfolios with the goals of international instruments, such as the Paris Agreement. A crucial step in addressing this challenge is improving the transparency of the impacts to which banks, insurers and capital markets are directly linked, through their investment and advisory activities.

These Sector Standards will identify and describe the topics that are likely material for reporting organizations based on the sectors’ most significant impacts. The Standards will provide evidence and authoritative references for these topics, to assist financial services organizations in determining if they are material for them, as well as help identify and list appropriate disclosures for reporting on those topics.

Work is currently being undertaken to finalize the financial services Project Proposal, which will be submitted to the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) for approval in the first quarter of 2023. In the coming months, stakeholder engagement with experts across the three sectors will take place to inform the final scope and design of the project.

Read the draft Project Proposal for more information.

About this project

The GRI Sector Program commenced in 2019. As a new addition to the family of GRI Standards, the Sector Standards are designed to help identify a sector's most significant impacts and reflect stakeholder expectations for sustainability reporting. They outline organizations' likely material topics and list disclosures that are relevant for the sector to report on.

The Financial Services Sectors have been approved by the Global Sustainability Standards Board (GSSB) to be included in the next sectors for which Standards will be developed, as part of priority group one.

Sectors are prioritized based on the seriousness and the likelihood of their impacts and their overall size, distribution around the world, and the number of organizations that are in a position to use the GRI Standards.

This project will commence in Q2 2023.

Related Documents

GRI Sector Program Description file 07 Feb 2019 English 449 KB
Draft GSSB Work program 2023-2025 file 21 Nov 2022 English 831 KB

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