A principled approach
The principles of fairness, honesty, integrity and transparency guide Bank of London and The Middle East’s (BLME’s) work and the decisions we make. Banking with us means banking responsibly. Our clients can trust that their money is secure, used responsibly, and that the way we conduct ourselves is based on these principles.
Like our parent, Boubyan Bank, our ESG performance is reflected in four core areas:
Marketplace | Environment | Workplace | Community
We work hard to have a positive impact on the environment and society, and to run the Bank in a way that reaches high standards of governance. We build these ESG factors into our corporate governance, risk management, financial and employee engagement practices; helping to increase the Bank’s overall resilience.
Our responsible approach to banking is underpinned by being a Sharia’a compliant Islamic bank. BLME proudly continues to build upon Sharia’a values to further expand the positive impacts we want to make to our customers, clients and communities. Find out more about Sharia’a banking and how we provide Islamic and ethical financial solutions.
You can read about the activities of the Boubyan Group in its 2020 Sustainability Report, which details key non-financial information and ESG performance across the Group.
An ongoing journey
We are proud of the progress we have made to become a socially responsible organisation. We do, however, recognise that this is a continuous journey with more work to be done.
BLME will continue to devote focus and energy to making positive improvements towards our ESG approach and practice. We are developing an ongoing strategy to ensure we continue to measure up to our own aspirations and our customers and clients’ expectations.
Social – hand in hand with the community
BLME’s role and positive impact in the community is important to us and our stakeholders. We acknowledge that we have social, civic and economic responsibilities.
We are committed to building a business and workplace that drives positive change for individuals and for society as a whole, whilst acting in a socially responsible manner.
In line with this, the money a client invests or saves with BLME will never be used to finance tobacco, alcohol, armaments or gambling.
A balanced workforce is good for business, customers, profitability and workplace culture. Our diversity also reflects our geographic focus on both the UK and the GCC at the highest level of the organisation. We recognise that people should have equal opportunity at all levels of the Bank. Embedding diversity and inclusion into our business is therefore a core strategic aim of BLME.
BLME is committed to becoming a signatory of HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter, committing to work together with others to build a more balanced and fair industry. We celebrate the cultural diversity we are fortunate to have in our workforce and we have taken steps to promote understanding, awareness and support in addressing social and racial inequality in the UK.
Our employees are guided by the Bank’s PROUD values, being transparent, open, receptive, and responsive in all its dealings both in the marketplace and the workplace. They participate in regular training on discrimination, bullying and harassment and we regularly provide other learning opportunities on culture and conduct.
We are committed to ensuring that our supply chain is free from the practice of modern slavery and human trafficking. Read our full statement on modern day slavery, pursuant to section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015, here.
Hand in Hand - Yadan Bi Yad
Employees at all levels of the Bank are expected to operate in an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable manner, whilst upholding the Bank’s values and Sharia’a compliance in the marketplace and community.
We are committed to supporting a number of charities and work in line with Boubyan Bank’s youth programmes. It is important to us that these partnerships are as meaningful as possible. Our employees therefore play a guiding role in our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, Yadan Bi Yad, or Hand in Hand. We are proud of the charitable spirit and support our colleagues show towards fundraising and volunteer opportunities. Some examples include:
Future Frontiers Mentoring Programme:
BLME has spearheaded our own education programme through our partnership with youth charity Future Frontiers, to give our employees the opportunity to act as a coach or mentor to Sixth Form students. Through this programme, BLME employees have mentored children aged 16 to 18 from underprivileged backgrounds into work or future education.
We have also partnered with SEO London to help prepare students from ethnic minority or low socioeconomic backgrounds for career success.
BLME actively seeks out suppliers that help support social enterprise, creating economic value in ways that also creates positive social or environmental results. Examples of current partnerships include:
WildHearts Group - is a portfolio of companies that, through their activities and profits, deliver entrepreneurship education and microfinance. BLME’s UK offices source selected office supplies via WildHearts Office, supporting social change and sustainability in doing so.
Change Please – coffee in our London office helps provide employment opportunities to people experiencing homelessness.
Fat Macy’s - is a social enterprise that works with young Londoner’s living in temporary accommodation. It provides a pathway towards independent living by inviting them to train with a team of hospitality experts to deliver culinary events and catering across London.
Harry Specters – a business dedicated to crafting delicious chocolates that create employment for young people with autism. The chocolates have won numerous awards for their taste and hundreds of young people with autism have a brighter future because of them.
From Babies with Love – corporate baby gifts for our parents help abandoned children around the world.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, BLME has supported several NHS facilities, as chosen by our employees. Similarly, we have provided support to other critical emergency services and community facilities such as Food Banks, which are experiencing particular hardship as a result of the crisis.
Governance – high standards, responsible banking
Bank of London and The Middle East (BLME) is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). As such, we adhere to high standards and achieve the strong levels of governance you would expect in a UK regulated bank.
We value traditional finance principles, and strive to be straightforward, competitive and prudent. We are committed to acting ethically in the marketplace and in all our business relationships, as well as complying at all times with laws and regulations applicable to us.
BLME Holdings PLC’s governance framework is used to determine the Bank’s risk appetite, in line with the Group’s defined strategic objectives. Risk appetite adherence is monitored through a formalised process of risk identification, control assessment and performance monitoring.
The Group’s risk management framework provides the Bank with a foundation for ensuring that business risk-taking activity is consistent with the Group’s strategy and risk appetite, and that the Group delivers good service and good outcomes for customers from its products.
We cultivate an inclusive and diverse workplace where staff are encouraged to act responsibly, take personal accountability, embrace change, and put the client at the centre of our business. Our PROUD values are at the heart of our company culture with other supporting measures in place including our annual employee engagement survey, culture scorecard, conduct risk framework, and our appointed conduct champions.