Sberbank held the Summer Session of the Supervisory Board

Jul 14, 2020

The Summer Session of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank took place in the format of a video conference on 14 July 2020. Corporate governance and ESG were the main topics of the session. The participants of the conference included members of the Executive Board and other executives of the Bank.

Presentations on Review of Changes in the Modern Corporate Governance Paradigm. Modern Board Practices in Largest Banks and ESG Approaches and Climate Change Issues were made by external experts Roger Barker (Doctor of corporate governance, Oxford University; author of numerous books and articles on corporate governance and board performance), Jean Pousson (voted Lecturer of the Year 2019 by UK Finance; banking, finance and strategy consultant), and Karina Litvack (co-founder of the Climate Governance Initiative under the auspices of WEF; board director at the Italian oil and gas company Eni S.p.A.). The conference was moderated by Alexander Ikonnikov, the Chairman of the Independent Directors Association.

Members of the Supervisory Board took part in the discussions. The issue of balance between shareholders’ interests and those of other stakeholders attracted a lot of attention. ‘Banks have never been thought of as companies that operate only for their shareholders. Boards of directors should always consult with the stakeholder map because wherever you are, the map is going to change, it will always be dynamic,’ said Jean Pousson. ‘We must aim for balance, which is changing all the time,’ agreed Gennady Melikyan.

The participants especially focused on climate risk management. Ksenia Yudaeva, Bank of Russia First Deputy Governor, talked about the latest trends in this area. ‘The definition of environmental risk now encompasses an increasingly wide range of phenomena: the risk of natural disasters and other climate change-related physical risks, changes in biodiversity, and transitional risks related to changes in public policy. In addition, it is now treated not as corporate social responsibility but as a risk that must be managed as part of risk management processes. The Bank of Russia has been taking part in the activities of international organizations and associations that explore approaches to factoring in climate risks and, more broadly, environmental risks. Presently, the Bank of Russia is taking guidance in the international experience to start developing methods for integrating climate risks into assessment of systemic risks and financial stability risks,’ said Ksenia Yudaeva.

The closing speaker was Larisa Zalomikhina, Senior Managing Director, Director of the Compliance Division of the Bank, who spoke about the practical aspects of compliance risk management at the Bank.

The conference also included a presentation of a mobile application specially developed for the members of the Supervisory Board of Sberbank. Oleg Tsvetkov, the Corporate Secretary of the Bank, pointed out that the application allows its users to keep abreast of recent developments in the Bank’s corporate life and gives them access to analytical materials that can be relevant in their work.

All the participants of the Summer Session agreed that the issues addressed were topical and complex and expressed willingness to continue the discussion at future meetings.