Business and human rights | RBS

Business and human rights

We recognise our corporate responsibility to respect and uphold human rights, as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

  • We regularly review our policies and procedures to ensure that we avoid infringing on the human rights of others in our own operations, and support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights throughout our broader sphere of influence.
  • We contributed to the Thun discussion paper on the implications of UN Guiding Principles 16-21 for banks and are committed to the implementation of the Guiding Principles within the bank.
  • We have adopted and contributed to a number of internationally accepted initiatives, notably the Equator Principles and the UN Global Compact, which specifically address the management of human rights issues.


Our people

◦  We select our people solely on the basis of merit, and actively recruit from the widest available pool of talent, advertising internally and externally to give us the best possible choice for selection and to avoid the possibility of discrimination.

◦  Our Values emphasise our commitment to Doing the right thing; Working together; Serving customers and Thinking long term. “Thinking long term” includes a clear commitment to respecting human rights.

◦  The RBS Code supports our people to achieve the best outcomes for our customers by adhering to ethical standards, including a clear commitment to respecting human rights. It includes guidance on how to raise issues and concerns, including a confidential helpline and a whistleblowing policy.

◦  The Code includes a YES Check decision-making framework which helps our people to use good judgement and act with integrity, openness and fairness. The Code is underpinned by our group policy framework.

◦  We listen to our people in a variety of ways, including through an annual employee survey and our employee representatives, enabling our people to raise issues regarding their working environment. We also have in place an independent whistleblowing facility for employees to raise concerns, without fear of adverse consequence.

◦  Our Inclusion e-learning module is compulsory for all RBS employees. It supports the development of an inclusive mind-set which is important so we can all play our part in ensuring RBS values diversity by welcoming and respecting differences. In addition, client-specific human rights training is delivered to risk professionals and relevant employees across the bank.


Our suppliers

◦  We are committed to working with third parties who sign up to our values as communicated in our Code.


◦  Our Sustainable Procurement Code sets out our expectations of the companies that we work with. It clearly states that our suppliers should not engage in breaches of human rights or labour rights, or in discrimination.

◦  We are also committed to equal opportunities for suppliers, and we recognise that diversity strengthens our supply chain.


Our customers

◦  We have a robust Environmental, Social and Ethical (ESE) risk policy framework, with sector-specific policies relating to sectors that present higher ESE risks. These policies include specific appetite positions relating to human rights screening, which are regularly reviewed and updated to ensure best practice.

◦  We conduct due diligence on clients relating to human rights standards, and expect our clients to share our commitment to respecting human rights associated with their operations.


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