In all our activities we comply with all relevant rules and regulations and with corporate policies and guidelines that ensure ethical business. Some examples:
- The Code of Conduct for KBC Group Employees contains our key business ethics guidelines: a uniform set of rules for all KBC employees governing their professional conduct towards their employer, clients and suppliers, colleagues, society, competitors and the media.The Code of Conduct states that we put our clients’ interests first, that we are fair and correct, that we show and take responsibility and that we place great importance on discretion. We respect the dignity of our clients and colleagues at all times. Special attention is paid to training and awareness.
- Our policies on integrity, fraud prevention and anti-corruption are essential for embedding integrity within our daily business. KBC engages with the Belgian chapter of Transparency International (TI) – the leading global organisation in the fight against corruption – so that we can correctly evaluate all the relevant issues at stake.
- KBC fully respects human rights principles in all its activities: see KBC Group Policy on Human Rights.
- We have specific restrictions to limit trading in securities by staff with access to price-sensitive information.
- We have developed a Policy for the Protection of Whistleblowers in the group.
- KBC acts as a responsible taxpayer and has recently reviewed and updated its tax strategy.
The Compliance Division of KBC Group ensures that the guidelines are observed, information remains confidential and privacy is respected.
All policies are reviewed on a regular basis and updated if necessary, in order to always meet the changing environment, requirements and regulations.
The risks related to our sustainability policy are not only evaluated by Group Compliance but are audited through various channels.
Compliance departments in the local KBC group entities assist senior management, which bears primary responsibility for implementing these principles and organising and safeguarding the entity’s integrity and reputation.
As defined in KBC’s Compliance Charters, the compliance departments are independent. For example, KBC has set up direct reporting lines between local and group compliance services.
More specifically, Group Compliance is responsible for:
- Combating money laundering, including the prevention of tax fraud (FATCA, CRS, etc.) and terrorist financing.
- The implementation and compliance of our guidelines on consumer and investor protection, financial markets, data protection, corruption and fraud risk management.
- Consumer protection (including protecting the interests of borrowers in consumer and mortgage loans, as well as non-discrimination of, information on and protection of investors in the banking and insurance sector).
- Data protection (including banking secrecy and the duty of confidentiality).
- Implementation of an ethics and integrity framework. Information, awareness and prevention campaigns are organised in these areas. The integrity and compliance principles are developed at group level and the corporate compliance division coordinates their roll-out throughout the group.
- Ethics and fraud risk management.