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Our approach to sustainability
The principles of sustainability are increasingly getting integrated with business practices of the bank. Adoption of the triple bottom-line ethos – 'People, Planet and Profit' – thereby is the essence of competitive advantage and sustainability leadership. We believe that responsible banking addressing social, environmental and financial conditions are key to long term success and beneficial for immediate community that includes our clients, employees and the place where we operate. The following diagram shows our sustainable business priorities.
In next two decades, Bangladesh is set to become a middle income country and looking for rapid growth in industrial sector, particularly in the areas of textile and apparels, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, cement, steel, and consumer electronics. Such trajectory is opening up huge opportunities for people to better their lives. At the same time, meeting the rising demand for energy, land, and water will throw up significant challenges. As a commercial bank, we will face tough trade-offs in deciding who and what to finance. Our approach is not to avoid these, but to seek a balance that minimizes any negative consequences of our decisions. We are determined to deliver value broadly in society riding on our principles of sustainability.
Contribution to real economy
Obviously, the way of promoting sustainable growth in the real economy is our core business of banking. Offering ethical and appropriate product to the right customer is the principal philosophy of our business models. We are working to widen access to finance in our markets focusing on un-banked and underserved population. We are determined to prevent our products and services from being used for criminal financing activity, which can erode the positive impact of banking on the economy. We have started our journey towards sustainable financing by supporting cleaner and efficient energy projects and programs.
Responsible selling and marketing
Our aim is to offer the best experience in fair manner to our customers at all times providing them with solutions that meet their needs. In 2012, in total, 1963 employees successfully completed e-Learning program on retail and SME products. We have a dedicated unit that is working to improve service quality of the bank. Currently, treating client fairly is a requirement of banks 'Code of Conduct' and GAP (Graceful, Appropriate, Pleasing) - written guidelines on dealing with people, customer, premises and documentary communication. In pursuit of excellence; our Service Quality Unit has taken some major tasks for 2013, like rolling out of 'Customer Service Blueprint', 'Customer Complain Management Manual' and automation of complain management system. In 2012, we have handled 942 numbers of customer complains, those reached through our complaint boxes at branches, web portal, call center, and central bank's complain cell. Usual turnaround time to resolve received complaints was 3–7 days. We believe, automation of complain management system will improve our performance significantly.
Financial Inclusion
Millions of people across the country remain unbanked or have limited access to banking services. We continue to explore new ways of increasing financial inclusion. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) played crucial role in generating jobs and economic growth in Bangladesh. In 2012, we continued to demonstrate our support for SMEs, increasing our lending to the sector by more than 28 percent to BDT 13.39 billion, and enhancing our SME products and services. We remain committed to agricultural and rural credit (micro finance) as a means of increasing financial inclusion in the country. Our approach is to support this sector by providing a range of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) as well as through our own branch network. During 2012, we have provided a total of BDT 2,347 million to MFIs to serve financial needs of 81,584 individuals (including pre-finance from Asian Development Bank). EBL channeled low cost fund from ADB to MFIs for financing farmers and rural population taking the credit risk on its own. Last year the bank utilized BDT 667 million that reached to 11,592 individuals via different.
Tackling Financial Crime
Financial crime is a concern for financial institutions across the globe. At EBL, we devote our efforts to minimize its damaging effect on our business, our customers, and community. Our key areas of priority are:

i. Compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and sanctions.
ii. Actions to prevent Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.
iii. Prevention of fraud.

To guard against the risk of financial crime within our business, we focus on training of our employees, strengthening our screening systems and ensuring that our policies and procedures are effective and up to date. Employee awareness about fraud trends and combating technique is the key to successful financial crime prevention. During 2012, a total of 1,563 staff completed anti-money laundering training to reinforce our capacity to protect money laundering activities. We have prioritized fraud prevention in coming years; hence planned to launch comprehensive fraud prevention strategy and training program for our employees.

Suspicious Transaction Reporting (STR) and KYC procedure are tools bank is presently using to prevent financial crimes and money laundering. Our core fraud combating units are security, compliance, internal audit, IT security, human resource, and risk management unit. These units are working together to strengthen fraud prevention management system in the bank.
Promoting Sustainable Finance
We aim to capture the growing opportunities presented by the renewable energy and clean technology sector. Accordingly the bank took advisory assistance from IFC (International Finance Corporation) and trained 12 staffs on 'Sustainable Energy and Cleaner Production'. We then launched 'EBL Green Credit' on 24 September 2012 targeting areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and cleaner technology. Since 2011, EBL financed Tk. 5.19 million to 7 small poultry farm for generation of electricity from biogas and Tk 250.00 million for assembling photovoltaic solar panel. We also signed participation agreement with Bangladesh Bank for using Asian Development Bank (ADB) fund to finance cleaner brick kiln technology.
Employer of Choice
At EBL, we do not offer a job, we shape career. Our mission is to be and remain the 'Employer of Choice' by respecting human rights and equal employment opportunity, providing tools and support to develop skills, and offering performance oriented rewards. Our excellence in this area is recognized by ISO 9001:2008 certificate.
Recruitment and Job Posting
EBL's approach to recruitment is to have qualified and well-educated people among its staff, without any discrimination of their race, religious belief, gender, and age. We are mainly focused on employing fresh graduates who do not have professional experience, and to train them as future leaders of the industry. Our aim is to train our people so that they can continuously deliver best service experience to our customers. Besides entry level recruitments, other vacant positions are first announced to our employees, and eligible applicants are interviewed for final selection. If suitable candidate is not available, bank then look for recruiting people from the market.
Compensation and Benefit policy
EBL is committed to performance based reward policy, which recognizes contribution of each of the employees and links to the market competitive remuneration. The salary structure of the bank is determined by the Board of Directors and can be changed any time at their discretion.
Gender and Remuneration
EBL does not discriminate with regard to gender when remunerating. Salary and benefits are dependent of employee's job grade and performance with no gender based differentiation.
Occupational Health and Safety
The physical and mental well being of our staff is important to us, especially considering stressful effects of the performance driven culture. Towards achieving the objective of a healthy workforce, the bank has hospitalization reimbursement policy. All confirmed full time employees are eligible to claim reimbursement of hospitalization bill in each calendar year up to the actual amount not exceeding their three months basic pay. This policy covers employee's spouse and unmarried children below 21 years of age.
Maternity leave and benefits
All full time female employees are eligible for 120 days continuous Maternity Leave maximum for two occasions during her service with EBL. This is also EBL's policy to reimburse actual hospitalization bill not exceeding three months basic pay of the claimant for first two issues.
Training and Education
All newly recruited employees below the job grade of 'Principal Officer' are inducted through a comprehensive orientation program prior to their placement. Further they are provided on the job training in addition to customized training as needed.
Support for proficiency certifications
EBL supports employees in obtaining internationally valid certificates in their areas of specialization, although these are not offered as reward. Fees for exams, study materials, and preparatory trainings are partially or fully borne by the bank pursuant to certain criteria. Some of the widely supported exams are listed below:

i. The CDCS (Certified Documentary Credit Specialist) exam held by ICC National Committee of Bangladesh. As on 31 December 2012, 14 of our employees hold valid certificate.

ii. The CSA (Credit Skill Assessment) exam held by Omega, an US based internationally accepted training provider. As on 31 December 2012, 14 of our employees earned CSA certificate by Omega, Singapore.
Grievance Handling
EBL sets grievance handing procedures in its people management manual. These procedures cover issues related to followings:

i. Terms and conditions of employment, health and safety issues, relationships at work, new working practices, organizational change, and equal opportunity.
ii. Dissatisfaction with any action taken or in the process to be taken by the line manager.
iii. Dissatisfied about lack of any management action required in employee's opinion.
iv. Any kind of harassment, victimization, and discrimination.
Code of Conduct and Ethical Guidelines
We have written 'Code of Conduct and Ethical Guidelines for Employees', which delivered to all employees for their reading and compliance.
Excellence in Customer Service
Country's banking industry offers homogeneous products in a shallow market; hence building core competency on product diversification is extremely difficult. At EBL, it is our strategy, to gain core competency by promising best services to our customers continuously. One of our main pillars of sustainable banking is excellence in customer service. In order to achieve this objective, we are pursuant to meet our customers' need, determined to keep our customers' data and assets safe, and committed to transparency in the way we do our business. We have earned ISO 9001:2008 certificate for our 'Trade Service' and 'Service Delivery' Departments that indicates our commitment to deliver quality services to our customers.
Meeting our customer's need
It is among our priorities to understand and serve our customer’s need that add value to them, and improves quality of life. Search for customers’ unmet need and developing products is a continuous journey. Sometimes banking products are not enough, together with culture and arts, our services contribute to the financial and social well being of our customers. From the smallest branch to Head Office, EBL shall continue its endeavor to improve lifestyle of its customers and prosperity of the country by employing its know-how and skills.
Keeping our customers’ data and assets safe
We are committed to keep our customer’s data and assets safe within the scope of countries laws and regulations. Advanced technology, IT security, internal audit, compliance, and independent risk management functions are the core elements to ensure safety of customers’ data and assets.
Showing transparency is the way we do our business
'Simple Math' is the motto of EBL that attach transparency to all of our stakeholders. Expect for information that deemed as commercial secret, we disclose all information, with necessary explanations, related to our products, pricing, fees, financial performance, and operations in timely, accurate, complete, interpretable, and accessible manner.
Community Investment
We have many responsibilities to the community in which we operate. As a leading commercial bank in the country, we are in a stronger position to influence our customers for taking efforts to reduce their carbon footprint that will contribute to ease climate change effects on the community. Bank itself can promote initiatives to economize and optimize the use of paper, water, and energy. Finally, creation of social value by giving back a share of our success to the society is important for sustainable existence.
Protecting the environment
Depending on our perspective, EBL could be said to have relatively little impact on the environment (based on its own consumption of resources and emissions) or potentially an enormous one (through the environmental consequence of economic activities of its customers). Accordingly, our main thrust is minimizing indirect impacts through the business and industrial activities we finance. Our aim is to do the best to ensure that the credit we extended to our customers is utilized for environmentally sound and sustainable purposes. Bank’s Board of Directors has approved the Environmental and Social (E&S) Risk Policy that governs the E&S risk management system of the bank.
Using resources responsibly
In addition to social and environmental policies outlined above, EBL makes every effort to ensure that its own operations and activities are minimal in environmental impact. The rules and procedures adopted in this regard are published in ‘Green Office Guide’. These guidelines relate the following issues for a Greener Bank.

i. Reduction of Energy Consumption
ii. Conservation of Water
iii. Management of Waste
iv. Procurement of Green supplies
v. Self assessment and reporting
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