DZ BANK AG makes this statement under the provisions of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (the “Act”). The Act requires the Bank to state what actions it has taken during the financial year ending 31 December 2016 to ensure that neither slavery nor human trafficking took place in its operations or supply chains.

Respect and Protection for Human Rights

DZ BANK is committed to democracy, tolerance, equality of opportunity and to human rights. This conforms with the cooperative values which underpin our activities: Mutuality, partnership and responsibility for the community.

As the central institution of the cooperative banks in Germany, we make an important contribution towards a functioning financial system. We are very conscious of our special responsibility towards customers, business partners, shareholders, employees and society as a whole. Against this backdrop, exactly what business activities we focus on and how we operate these is of central importance.

On signing the Global Compact of the United Nations (UN) in 2008, DZ BANK committed itself to ten globally applicable principles in the field of human rights, labour norms, environment and the fight against corruption. These basic principles form a binding framework for our operations. The prevention of slavery and human trafficking is part of our understanding of human rights. DZ BANK has taken several steps to ensure that slavery and human trafficking does not take place in its supply chain, nor in any part of its business during the financial year.

Human rights and customers

DZ BANK subjects both its own investments as well as those made with the loans and finance it provides to a sustainability assessment which also includes respect for human rights. Since 2009, we have worked with a sustainability checklist for lending and project finance based on the UN Global Compact and the Equator Principles. Using this list, we evaluate all factors relevant for finance as regards their environmental and social risks, also including respect for human rights. Finance for companies which breach internationally recognised principles in the field of human rights and labour law is excluded as a matter of principle. Our training sessions on sustainability in lending also take account of human rights.

Human rights and suppliers

Respect and protection for human rights also plays a major role in DZ BANK's selection of service providers and suppliers. All procurement processes must satisfy social and environmental standards which include human rights and labour practice issues. DZ BANK requirements are based, amongst other things, on the principles embodied by the UN Global Compact and applicable conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). As of 2010, we have secured commitments from all suppliers to comply with these standards and principles within the framework of a Sustainability Agreement. Breach can ultimately lead to the exclusion of the supplier.

Human rights and employees

As an employer, DZ BANK respects and promotes the human rights of its employees, the majority of which work in Germany. There, respect for human rights is guaranteed by law. In addition to this, we secure undertakings from our employees to respect human rights based on a Code of Conduct. Corresponding training programmes and seminars are obligatory. We do not tolerate any discrimination of employees or third parties on the basis of age, sex, ethnic origin, nationality, religion, political view, ideology, race, disability or sexual identity.

No complaints in 2016

In case of any questions on human rights or any grounds to suspect a human rights abuse, stakeholders or whistleblowers should contact DZ BANK Compliance, the ombudsman or the works' council. In the year 2016, there were (for the London branch) no formal complaints in relation to human rights abuses or working practices.