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Responsible business lending

We seek to assess and manage the impacts of our lending decisions through the application of our Social and Environmental Risk Policy (the Policy) and accompanying ‘sensitive sector’ requirements. 

Our Social and Environmental Risk Policy

Our Social and Environmental Risk Policy and Screening Tool set out the social and environmental standards and due diligence processes applicable to our large business customers. For more information on our sensitive sector requirements, click on the sector name below:

We are committed to working with customers that support social and environmental sustainability in their approach. We recognise that one of the most valuable contributions we can make, is to inform and work with our customers to understand risks and opportunities posed by their operations and to manage their social and environmental impacts. This can include the effect of their operations on human rights, biodiversity, cultural heritage, indigenous rights, health and safety, governance and environmental sustainability.

The Policy outlines the social and environmental considerations to be taken into account by our bankers when determining business transactions. It incorporates our Human Rights Statement, including our ‘zero tolerance’ for improper land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, and labour rights issues such as modern slavery.

We review the Policy annually, with oversight from our Ethics and Responsible Business Committee to ensure it remains fit-for-purpose. The review takes into account changes to customer practices, international standards, emerging social and environmental issues and stakeholder expectations.


Screening customers

Prior to entering into a relationship with any large business customer, our bankers are expected to examine a broad range of social and environmental issues. They must also have specific knowledge of the customer’s history and approach to dealing with any potential (or historical) social and environmental impacts.

Under our credit policy we typically review our business customers annually, using our social and environmental risk screening tool. We expect our customers across all sectors to implement appropriate stakeholder engagement strategies and plans.

We monitor the social and environmental risks of our business customers through our monthly ‘Reputation Risk Radar’. We also rely on regular dialogue between our bankers and their customers to alert us to issues. Notable incidents and allegations are referred to our risk management meetings.

Where a customer's practices may be inconsistent with our policies, we work with them to understand the situation and where necessary, encourage them to make specific and time-bound improvement plans. If customers are unwilling to adapt their practices, we may decline further financing and exit the relationship.

Employee training

We recognise that educating employees on our policies and standards and how they are applied in practice is key to effective management of the social and environmental risks associated with our business lending. 

Our training programs cover the Policy, sensitive sector requirements and our approach to human rights. Guidance is also provided on identifying and escalating potential issues to the Ethics and Responsible Business Committee, which examines customer proposals that may significantly impact our reputation with stakeholders. This training is mandatory for new employees authorised to make credit decisions for business customers.


ANZ's 2021 Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Supplement

This report provides detailed information on ANZ's sustainability performance and challenges. In response to stakeholder feedback, for the first time, we're releasing our ESG Supplement at the same time as the Annual Report.

2021 ESG Supplement (PDF 10.1MB)