ING’s standpoint on banking sector’s transparency on lobbying activities
On 17 December 2013 SOMO published its report on the transparency of banks’ lobbying activities. In its report SOMO notes that ING provides relatively high transparency on its lobbying activities and its role in regulatory development.
ING is committed to transparency, as is enshrined in 1 of our 4 business principles [“we are open and clear”]. We pursue transparency in numerous ways, such as in our comprehensive financial and social annual report that is posted on our website ing.com. The topics covered in this report include our approach, the stakeholders with whom we maintain an ongoing dialogue, and the organisations in which ING is involved.
We also publish our standpoints on public consultations on our website. We thus comply with the national statutory requirements as well as the international transparency obligations. Moreover, we received the highest score, an A+, from Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a Netherlands-based international organisation that sets sustainability reporting guidelines that are now embraced by hundreds of companies.
The interests of our customers and other stakeholders invariably serve as our guideline in determining our position on and approach to supervisory and policy issues. However, the interests of these diverse groups do not always coincide and sometimes actually conflict with each other. To strike the right balance, ING always carefully weighs up the interests of all parties concerned. We do this to align our business processes and strategy as best we can with our stakeholders’ expectations, and also because it is our simple duty to comply with our statutory obligations as well as our own business principles.
The careful consideration we give to all interests may sometimes prevent us from publishing all details about our contacts with supervisors or other stakeholders, for instance if we believe that the information we share with supervisors or government agencies must be kept confidential on competitive or supervisory grounds. For this reason, though we subscribe to and comply with the majority of SOMO’s recommendations, we cannot publish information about all our contacts or standpoints on financial supervisory and regulatory matters.