Responsible Lending

Caixa Bank Group wishes to establish and develop long-term customer relationships.

Loans and credits

We grant loans and credits on the basis of a professional credit assessment. It is in both the Group's and the customer's interest that credit is extended only when the customer can manage the obligation.

The Group undertakes a careful evaluation to obtain an understanding of the customer's financial situation. This means that in some cases the Group must refrain from extending loans to customers.

Retail customers

With retail customers, Caixa Bank's policy is to offer professional advice that ensures that the customer understands the consequences of borrowing, saving and using the Group's financial products and services. We evaluate our customers' future as well as current ability to repay obligations.

Corporate customers

In the corporate lending area, the basis for the assessment of a customer's creditworthiness is its financial situation, external financial factors and an evaluation of its ability to operate a business. Caixa Bank Group generally offers credits to all industries as long as the customer is creditworthy and complies with applicable laws, including environmental laws.

In the long run, it is the Group's expertise and responsibility in credit assessment and advice that ensure that its customers avoid situations of financial default. The Group therefore places an emphasis on maintaining its credit standards during both prosperous economic periods and difficult ones.

Ethical guidelines for credit

At Caixa Bank we acknowledge that the impact of our business on the environment and society extends beyond our own activities. For business customers, we therefore consider the purpose for which our products are used and assess possible environmental, social and ethical (ESE) risks associated with the lending.

In 2011, we began to cross-check our credit exposure against the Group’s SRI exclusion list. While this was a step in the right direction, the process revealed a need to further develop our business procedures for managing ethical risks related to corporate customers.

In 2013, we started developing measures to improve the assessment of ESE risks associated with the credit facilities we grant. The measures are intended to ensure that we grant credit only when we are reasonably sure that the borrower complies with our ESE standards. We will continue to improve our ability to identify and manage ESE risks.

Some sectors are particularly sensitive because their activities entail a higher risk of conflicts with recognised conventions and standards. In 2013, we therefore started developing sector-specific policies for the assessment of ESE risks. In 2014 we adopted a credit policy specifically for the arms and defence industry, and we will continue to develop credit policies for specific industries associated with elevated ESE risks.