Part of the overall mission of the ProCredit group is to set standards in the financial sectors in which we operate. We want to make a difference not only in terms of the target groups we serve and the quality of the financial services we provide, but also with regard to business ethics. Our strong corporate values play a key role in this respect and form the foundation of our business ethics. The following principles guide the operations of the ProCredit institutions:
- Transparency: We provide transparent information to our customers, to the general public and to our employees.
For example, we ensure that customers fully understand the terms of the contracts they conclude with us, and we engage in financial education in order to raise public awareness of the dangers of intransparent financial offers.
- A culture of open communication: We communicate openly, fairly and constructively with each other. We deal with conflicts at work in a professional manner, working together to find solutions.
- Social responsibility and tolerance: We offer our clients sound, well-founded advice. Before offering loans to our clients, we assess their economic and financial situation, their business potential and their repayment capacity in order to avoid over-indebtedness and to provide appropriate financial services. In addition, we are committed to treating all customers and employees with fairness and respect, regardless of their origin, colour, language, gender or religious beliefs.
We also ensure that requests for loans are evaluated in terms of the applicant’s compliance with our ethical business practices. No loans are issued to enterprises or individuals if it is suspected that they are making use of unsafe, environmentally harmful or morally objectionable forms of labour, in particular child labour.
- High professional standards: Our employees take personal responsibility for the quality of their work and always strive to grow as professionals.
- Personal integrity and commitment: Complete honesty is required of all employees in the ProCredit group at all times, and any breaches of this principle are swiftly and rigorously dealt with.
These principles represent the backbone of our corporate culture and are actively applied in our day-to-day operations. They are reflected in the ProCredit Code of Conduct, which translates the group’s principles into practical guidelines for our staff. To make sure that new employees fully understand all of the principles that have been defined, induction training includes sessions dedicated to the Code of Conduct and its significance for all members of our team. Regular refresher training sessions help to ensure that employees remain committed to our high ethical standards and are kept abreast of new issues and developments which have an ethical dimension for our institution. These events allow existing staff to analyse recent case studies and discuss any grey areas.
Another aspect of ensuring that our institution adheres to the highest ethical standards is our consistent application of best practice systems and procedures to protect ourselves from being used as a vehicle for money laundering, the financing of terrorism or other illegal activities. Staff members are trained to apply the “know your customer” principle, and to carry out sound monitoring and reporting in line with the applicable regulations. Anti-money laundering and fraud prevention policies are regularly updated and exercised throughout the group to ensure compliance with local and international regulatory standards.