Banks join forces to create common impact measurement approach

Founders of the new Banking for Impact working group include ABN AMRO, Danske Bank and UBS

ABN AMRO, Danske Bank, DBS Bank and UBS have launched the Banking for Impact (BFI) working group aiming to create a common impact measurement approach for banks. 

Launched today, with Harvard Business School’s Impact-Weighted Accounts Initiative and the Impact Institute also part of the working group, it will work on the quantification, valuation, attribution and aggregation of impacts for the banking sector, with the goal to scale up and standardise the efforts over time. 

In a statement, Banking for Impact (BFI) explains: “Financial firms need new reporting rules that pull positive and negative externalities like job creation and pollution into standard practices to provide a well-rounded picture of how they create true value”.

Currently “impact measurement and reporting remains unstandardised and there is no guidance on the attribution and aggregation of impact across the value chain”, it claims in its Vision Paper. 

Responding to today’s launch, Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of IWAI and the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, said: “The sooner banks embrace impact measurement, the sooner they can meet rising expectations for responsible behaviour.”

BFI is inviting other banks to join and test the methodology and provide feedback. 

The working group will also consult with relevant sector-related initiatives, for example Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB).

It is also inviting organisations from “knowledge institutions and other relevant organisations” to get involved.

Today BFI is holding two roundtables to provide more information on its work.

Last week, UNEP FI and UNEP-WCMC published guidance to support PRB signatories in preparing to set portfolio-level biodiversity targets.