ESG and Agibank
ESG: What it is and why Agibank values it so much
Recently, Norges Bank Investment Management, Norway’s trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund, decided to exclude major Brazilian companies from its investment policies due to environmentally harmful or neglectful corporate practices. And Norwegian investors are not alone: sustainability concerns had already led American, British and Dutch funds to reject companies from their investment pools.
Until recently, the term “sustainability” was more strongly connected to environmental themes, but the fast growth of the three-pronged ESG approach (for Environmental, Social, and Governance) means this scenario is changing rapidly.
Here in Brazil, B3 which is the Brazilian stock exchange, publishes the ISE (an acronym for Corporate Sustainability Index, in Portuguese), setting the investment agenda for a wide variety and growing number of investors. This means that when companies join the ISE, more people invest in them and they gain access to less expensive funding. Likewise, when they are dropped from the ISE, corporations lose investors and, consequently, their market cap tends to falls. To join this select group, companies are required to meet very strict criteria, highlighting their performance in the three areas of ESG sustainability.
ESG and Agibank
Here at Agibank, our work is guided by the purpose of making people’s everyday lives better. We want to be a true partner for customers, understand their needs and help make their financial lives worry-free. With those guiding principles in mind, the connection between the ESG guidelines and the factors driving us is clear. That is why our work is increasingly focused on those three little letters. There is still a long way ahead, but we are proud to see how far we have come, and it motivates us to keep going.
Our digital bank accounts have already saved customers over R$217 million in electronic transfers, fees and withdrawals. In addition, they have also saved them R$236 million in interest payments, a consequence of the continuous decrease in average interest rates for loans since 2019. Together, those R$453 million represent customers’ opportunity to sort through their finances and invest the savings in their own lives.
For us, helping customers have a better relationship with their money and with our increasingly digital word is just as important as providing simple and accessible products and services, since a significant share of our total addressable market consists of digital immigrants, men and women over 50 with limited experience in financial services. With that in mind, the digital and financial education of our customers has become a major cause for us. We hope create a virtuous cycle: more equitable products make our customers more conscious and independent, leading to even more equitable products. It’s a big challenge, but the work is already bearing fruit: we have a 45 percent rate of use of digital channels among the over-50 audience, compared to a global average of only 8 percent. And the best part is that customers are noticing our efforts and the partnership we are trying to build. Our Net Promoter Score (NPS, which measures customer satisfaction) hit a record 80 in this segment in June.
In addition to our focus on the customer, we also care deeply about our internal audience. Our agile model creates a growth horizon for our associates and enables them to engage in internal entrepreneurship. Another key point is the pursuit of diversity and equality of opportunity. We are particularly proud of the number of women in our company: they are 73 percent of the staff, including 66 percent of leaders. Subjects such as racism and LGBTQ+ rights are a constant concern, and policies are always discussed and developed with full participation and engagement from associates who identify with those themes.
The bank also has several committees working in corporate governance, consisting of specialists who help guide the Agibank management team in specific areas, such as customers, products, people management, ethics and conduct, assets and liabilities, credit, and information technology. We are now establishing a committee dedicated to ESG. The goal is to enable the bank to be profitable, prosperous and efficient—ensuring its financial sustainability so it can fulfill its mission.
To learn more about our work in ESG, please visit our Investor Relations website at www.agibank.com.br/ri or e-mail our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Felipe Gaspar Oliveira
Investor Relations & ESG