Sustainability

Leading the way towards a better Myanmar, humanizing banking, connecting people, creating opportunities and changing lives

 

Our approach to sustainability is described below:

SUSTAINABILITY

At UAB, we believe in giving back to all stakeholders which includes its employees, customers, shareholders, business partners, contractors, government and the community where we do business. We believe that it is our corporate responsibility to build and grow a sustainable environment in which everyone prospers.  It is in this environment of inclusiveness with our stakeholders that we are best able to grow our own business and work towards our vision to be a leading bank in Myanmar

We define sustainability as the quality of not being harmful to people, communities, environment or depleting natural resources, and thereby supporting long-term social and ecological balance. We believe that a healthy balance between wealth and well­being is essential to building the essence of a sustainable community, and that the best solutions are created through cooperation by all stakeholders including ourselves.

We further recognize that there are situations where the way our Customers conduct their operations may generate significant environmental and social impact and may pose a risk to the Bank particularly where the Bank provides financing.

We therefore seek to support sustainability with the following principles:

·         Responsible Banking

We seek to conduct our business in a fair and responsible way by offering our Customers a fair deal in terms of pricing and quality of service for our products. We are dedicated to ensuring financial inclusion in Myanmar and to responsible financing in all our lending activity. We are committed towards an anti-bribery and anti-corruption posture and ensuring the prevention of money-laundering and financial crime.

We also believe in a Saving culture where resources are set aside for a sustainable future for our children.

In the development of products and services, we look to financing more environmentally-friendly green projects and empowering the community to go green.

 

·         Responsible Corporate Citizenship

We are committed to making economic contributions to our community through paying our fair share in taxes together with the compulsory deduction of taxes from our employees.

In order to enlarge our influence on sustainability, we seek to ensure that our supply chain including vendors and contractors conduct their business in a similarly responsible fashion

We recognize that not all returns stem from financial gains and therefore seek to create social impact by championing our “Be the Change” program. In this program, we will sponsor a number of initiatives that will create social impact in which employees and other members of the community will be able to contribute.  Through the program too we seek to encourage a staff volunteerism movement amongst our employees.

 

·         Responsible Employer

People are at the core of UAB and continued investment in our employees is a key priority. We are committed to providing an environment where people can achieve their full potential both professionally and personally.

We engage with our staff in an open, honest and respectful manner and we are committed to providing a workplace that cares about employee safety and promotes their health and well-being.  Our workplace programs aim to make us an employer of choice.

We offer a working environment that is respectful, and we see our employees as individuals who deserve opportunities to develop.  Helping people work effectively with one another across different geographical locations and ethnicity is a priority, and we achieve this through multicultural project teams.

With regard to Human rights, we respect and promote human rights as described in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

Further, we respect and promote labour standards as described in the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and related conventions.

 

IMPLEMENTATION OVER PERIOD APRIL TO SEPT 2018

1. Financing Projects

At UAB, in the conduct of credit approvals and financing, all Credit Committees that conduct a review of the UAB’s customers and transactions are required to ensure sustainability of projects as a process of approval and review. These are specific areas of concern:

·         Environment

Our customers are expected to know and take into account the potential impact of their activities on the environment and seek to avoid or, when avoidance is not possible, minimize these impacts. In larger companies that seek financing from the Bank for specific projects, they are expected to have appropriate policies and programs for these projects to prevent and mitigate adverse impact to the environment.

·         Human Rights

All Customers are expected to respect and promote human rights as described in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights in their business decisions, and are expected to use their influence with their suppliers to do the same. For unavoidable adverse impacts, they are expected to provide for and cooperate in remediation through legitimate processes.

·         Labour Standards

All Customers are expected to respect and promote labour standards as described by the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at work and other conventions 

 

2. Anti-Bribery and Corruption

UAB is committed to applying high standards of honesty and integrity consistently across our operations and in all our business dealings. We operate according to our corporate values and are committed to preventing corruption and bribery in all its forms and do not tolerate it in our business or in those with whom we do business.

An Anti-bribery and Corruption Policy has been adopted during the period of reporting to reinforce UAB’s stance which covers employees, interns, members of the Board of Directors and all vendors and contractors. Together with this a Gift Guideline has been issued to employees to restrict the receipt of any gift for their services in the Bank.

3. “Be the Change” Program

The program which encourages staff volunteerism has over the last one year undertaken the following campaigns

  • Visit and help to two (2) institutions for the blind
  • Blood donation campaign
  • Christmas gifts for disadvantaged children
  • Breakfast for Yangon City Development Council workers
  • Lunch for patients and family members at the Yangon General Hospital

4. MOU on environment-friendly and green projects

During the reporting period, UAB signed MOUs with two (2) different organizations for support of green projects in:

  • Solar energy financing
  • Sustainable tourism support

More details are given in the additional report below. Steps are being taken to expand financing in the above areas. 

5. Sustainability Officer 

The Bank's Risk and Compliance Officer was also designated as Sustainability Officer and will oversee the compliance of sustainability standards,environmental regulations and policies established by the Bank. He will report to the CEO with regard to the function and make periodic briefs to the Board Risk Committee.

 

EXCLUSION LIST

An exclusion list has been established which defines sectors or types of customers that do not fit into UAB’s profile. UAB will not facilitate financing to entities engaged in the activities listed below.

  • Production, trading and maintenance of weapons and munitions of any kind.
  • Trade in or unauthorized catching of wildlife or wildlife products
  • Production or trade in any product or activity deemed illegal under Myanmar laws or regulations or international conventions and agreements, or subject to international bans, such as pharmaceuticals, pesticides/herbicides, ozone depleting substances.
  • Hunting marine mammals and shark finning
  • Using of dynamite and poison in fishery practices
  • Activities involving harmful or exploitative forms of forced labor or harmful child labor.
  • Activities involving people smuggling of any kind

 

ADDITIONAL REPORT ON NON-FINANCIAL ACTIVITIES ENGAGED BY THE BANK OVER FINANCIAL YEAR APRIL TO SEPT 2018

 

Activity

Engagements

Customer health and safety

Security – Instructions were issued to all UAB Branches to heighten security and ensure that all security guards are stationed at the appropriate places to ascertain safety for Customers. Further, checks were made on security cameras at UAB Branches to ensure that they were in working order and in the correct strategic locations.

 

ATM downtime – To reduce the risk of Customers being unable to have access to cash at ATMs particularly during after-banking hours, week-ends and holidays. ATM downtime is now monitored closely and downtime report placed at the Bank’s Management Committee meetings for review.

Contractor/supplier selection and criteria

The Bank’s “Basic Procurement Guidelines” sets the procedures for the selection of suppliers and contractors.

Over the financial year, the Bank reviewed its suppliers for stationery and its security printers. Competitive bidding was applied with an evaluation committee established for bids. Apart from substantial monetary savings, reduction of wastage was achieved and better-quality material obtained.

To encourage development of local industry, local suppliers and material were preferred subject to the maintenance of the required standards.

The Bank’s newly approved anti-bribery and corruption policy and gift guidelines was applied.

Environmental-friendly value chain

To improve support towards environmental- friendly projects and business ventures, agreements were reached with the following parties:

-       MOU signed on 27th Sept 2018 with Australian Volunteers International (AVI) for the support of “The Sustainable Tourism Hub” program. UAB will provide technical services and financing for SMEs in the tourism industry that meet the sustainable tourism criteria set by AVI.

-       Agreement reached for green financing by UAB of solar projects for SMEs undertaken by Mandalay Yoma Co. Ltd. Purpose is to maximize the likelihood of creating a sustainable commercial and industrial environment through use of solar energy. (MOU was subsequently signed on 16th Oct 2018 to formalize the agreement).

 

Interaction with Community/philanthropic activities

 

16th August 2018 – For UAB’s 8th Anniversary celebration a Lunch donation was organized for patients and their families at the Yangon General Hospital.

 

23rd June 2018 – UAB participated at the “Children, Research and Hope for the Future” organized jointly by Kembangan Group of Medical Centres and Glenmark Pharmaceutical Limited for the celebrations of World Vitiligo Day 2018

 

11th May 2018 – UAB co-sponsored the “2018 CEO Conference” organized by 7 Day TV. Our CEO, Mr. Christopher Loh, participated as a panelist on the “Financial Innovation” discussion.

 

Electronic media and Call Center

As part of interaction with the community, UAB's facebook which had over 460,000 followers was extensively used to disemminate information and obtain feedback.

The Bank's Call Center was also an active center together with the Bank's Linked-in page which had over 4,000 followers.

 

Anti-corruption program and procedures

UAB adopted its Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy on 30th July 2018.

Further, together with this Policy, a Gift Guideline was issued to guide employees with regard to the receiving of gifts in the course of their service.

Over the financial year, the new Policy and Guidelines were circulated to employees and various forums held to ensure and raise awareness of the matter.

Creditor rights

For better information sharing to creditors and depositors, the Bank volunteered to participate in the Pwint Thit San Assessment for 2019 undertaken by the Myanmar Center for Responsible Business (in partnership with Yever).  The assessment requires UAB to provide better disclosure of information in its website.

In compliance, information and disclosure available on UAB’s web-site has now been made more extensive to meet the requirements of the assessment. This now allows creditors and depositors to have access and transparency to better information in deciding on their relationship with the Bank.

An Annual Report will also be made available in the Bank’s web-site. The Annual Report will include audited financial information of the Bank.

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