Respecting human rights

We recognize our responsibilities in accordance with the International Bill of Human Rights, the corresponding principles on human and labor rights set out in the UN Global Compact, as well as the eight fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization. We take account of these principles in our own policies and business activities. Our Statement on Human Rights describes the basis of our responsibility to respect human rights and the approaches and processes we use to implement it. Equally, we expect our business partners to recognize and uphold human rights.

We also take into account the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. To promote a better understanding of what these Guiding Principles mean for the banking sector, Credit Suisse co-initiated the Thun Group together with other banks in 2011. Since its inception, the Thun Group has worked on providing guidance for the practical implementation of the Guiding Principles in the development or structuring of banking products and services.

We consider human rights issues in our risk management processes and in the procurement of goods and services, and we recognize our responsibilities as an employer. The provision of certain financial services may be linked to adverse human rights impacts. While companies operating in sensitive sectors frequently play a key economic role in the global supply of energy and commodities and as an employer, the activities of these companies can, in some cases, have a significant impact on local or indigenous communities. Indicators on the human rights situation of a country are part of the country risk ratings assigned by the Compliance function. In general, heightened attention is required when a client operates in a jurisdiction that experiences political instability, weak governance or repression of minority groups, and when the bank is considering the financing of business activities in a conflict zone, developing financial products associated with vulnerable client segments, or providing financial services to a sector with known human rights issues. Credit Suisse therefore examines aspects of client relationships or transactions that are sensitive from a human rights perspective in our sustainability or reputational risk review processes. Both processes are supported by our industry-specific sector policies and risk appetite statements that contain specific provisions relating to human rights. For example, our Reputational Risk Appetite Statement for business with governmental ministries of sovereign states, or for state-owned entities, that takes into account the respective country’s political risk, financial crime risk and human rights and wider sustainability risk (see chapter: Organization and Governance, Risk management/Sustainability risk management section for more details).

Furthermore, our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Transparency Statement (as applicable to the respective in-scope legal entities) sets out the steps that Credit Suisse is taking to prevent the occurrence of modern slavery and human trafficking in our business operations and within our supply chain.