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Human rights policy 

PURPOSE

To create a contemporary work environment that respects human rights, adopts human rights approaches and principles, ensures and encourages behavior which is sensitive to human rights within the framework of these principles in our communications with our employees, clients, suppliers, business partners, and all of our other partners in alignment with Akbank's sustainability approach.

SCOPE

All employees of Akbank and its affiliates bear the responsibility of acting according to the principles in this policy. Furthermore, all of our business partners and other partners are expected to act according to this policy as the applicable principles and the mechanis ms which apply to them are built into said policy.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Designed by : Department of Organizational Development
Contributed by : Investor Relations and Sustainability Department, Internal Control Unit, Compliance Unit, Investment Banking
Approved by : Board of Directors
Published by : Department of Organizational Development

APPLICATION GUIDES and REFERENCES

Akbank’s Human Rights policy has been designed in consideration of the relevant bank policies and principles, legal regulations, application guides, and references published by international organizations.

  • Bank policies and code of practice
    • Akbank Sustainability Strategy
    • Principles of Corporate Governance
    • Ethics
    • Policy of Diversity and Inclusion
    • Code of Practice for People and Culture
    • Clean Banking Risk Management Policy
    • Environmental and Social Loan Policy
    • Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Codes of Practice
    • Procurement Rules & Procedures
    • Supplier Work and Behavior Principles
    • Compensation Policy
    • Zero Tolerance Policy Towards Violence
  • Principles and policies of international organizations
    • United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
    • United Nations Global Principles Agreement
    • United Nations Human Rights Council Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
    • United Nations Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs)
    • Fundamental Agreements of International Labor Organization
    • Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch of International Labor Organization
    • OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises
  • Relevant legal regulations


FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES

Our bank focuses on and acts meticulously to fulfill the requirements of the international agreements which our country is a party to, including the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the fundamental principles of working rights, human rights, and social justice of the International Labor Organization.

We share our human rights policy and fundamental principles with our employees, clients, suppliers, and all of our other partners in a transparent way, and we make robust efforts to implement and improve these principles.

Diversity and Equality of Opportunity

We support our employees' various cultures, experiences, and ways of thinking, and we adopt as a fundamental principle non-discrimination based on personal characteristics such as race, sex, belief, religion, language, ethnic origin, nationality, political views, age, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.

In the processes of recruitment, performance assessment, career, and compensation, our candidates' and employees' expertise, competencies, and individual performance are regarded as the basic units of measurement and assessment.

To hear all of our employees equally, we encourage the inclusion of a diverse range of employees in corporate processes and operations. At Akbank, all employees are encouraged to express their opinions clearly and everyone shows respect to each other's ideas.

You can find our bank's fundamental principles and applications regarding equality of opportunity and diversity and inclusion in the chapter "Diversity and Inclusion".

Prevention of Forced Labor and Child Labor

Akbank strongly opposes the employment of children, the physical and psychological harm it causes in children, and the deprivation of the right of children to have an education and a safe and happy life. It opposes all kinds of forced labor defined as working unwillingly and under threat.

Akbank interiorizes the policy of zero-tolerance towards slavery and human trafficking in accordance with the agreements and advisory principles of the International Labor Organization, the International Declaration of Human Rights, and the UN Global Principles

Agreement, and our employees, clients, suppliers, and all business partners are expected to follow this path.

A Healthy, Safe, and Environmentally Friendly Workplace

To ensure our employees' occupational health and safety, we take the necessary precautions in line with legal requirements. Within this scope, we periodically evaluate potential risks, the relevant measures taken, and plan for these risks. At the same time, we aim to constantly raise our employees' awareness level and consciousness through regular training programs.

We adopt environmentally friendly approaches, such as the creation of a sustainable work environment, and the minimization of the environmental effects of operations by utilizing technological opportunities.

You can find our principles and applications regarding occupational safety and health in the chapter "Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Codes of Practice".

Zero-Tolerance to Harassment and Violence

We believe that it is vital for our employees to feel safe and secure at home and at work, therefore we show zero-tolerance to any kind of violence or harassment which threatens or damages safety. We undertake to execute appropriate sanctions when behaviors and incidents are damaging the safe and supportive work environment.

You can find our policies, principles, and applications regarding safety at home and safety in the workplace in the chapter "Zero Tolerance Policy Towards Violence".

Working Conditions and the Balance between Professional and Private Life

Business hours are determined in accordance with the regulations. Issues such as daily breaks, restricting overtime, and taking regular leave are all monitored. We respect our employees' right to join a union or sign a collective agreement. We aim to support our employees in balancing their professional and private life and contribute to their physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Accordingly, within the framework of our program "A Better You", we take various initiatives to make well-being an integral part of the employee experience and improve the quality of our employees' business and social lives.

Compensation

The compensation policy at our bank is determined within the framework of internal and external factors in a competitive manner and all compensation - including fringe benefits and overtime - is paid in full compliance with legal requirements.

You can find our policies, principles, and applications regarding compensation in the chapter "Akbank Compensation Policy".

Providing Opportunities for Development

We provide our employees with opportunities to equip themselves with better personal and professional skills. With the principle of continuous development, we design customized journeys based on the needs of our employees, and in line with the requirements of the present and the future. We support our employees' development with innovative training methodologies and by sharing experiences.

We also put an emphasis on subjects that help to develop society, such as organizing events for the preparation of future generations for professional life, supporting the employment of women or handicapped people who have had a break from their work, providing clients with opportunities for development to facilitate their professional lives, and supporting entrepreneurs.

Protection of Personal Information

We take the necessary precautions in accordance with the relevant legal requirements regarding the protection of our employees', clients', and business partners' personal information and data in line with the principle of the confiden tiality of a private life and the protection of individuals' fundamental rights and freedom, and undertake that we apply premium standards in this field.

Our employees are expected to act according to the measures and regulations that have been set regarding the protection of personal data in their routine operations, and they are supported with continuous training programs within this framework.

Communications and Operations with our Clients

We aim to produce innovative financial solutions bringing added value to our clients. When it comes to presenting our products and services, financing clients, and making investment decisions, we take environmental and social risks into account in addition to financial assessments.

In compliance with our Environmental and Social Loan Policies, we do not finance clients who carry out activities that have been prohibited or restricted within the framework of the agreements we are a part of and principles we have undertaken to follow or those who are found to be involved in acts and activities contrary to the principles of child employment, forced labor, and human rights.

Also, in financing activities which exceed the limits in Environmental and Social Loan Policies, Akbank puts the projects into an environmental and social impact assessment system, and our clients are expected to take the necessary precautions when any risk is detected as a result of this assessment.

We apply a sustainability-based client diagnostic principle to build business relationships that respect human rights. We pay the utmost attention to building business relationships in compliance with our environmental and social values and we are mindful that our clients run operations in line with our social values through our control systems.

Relations and Operations with our Suppliers

One of our main aims is to build valuable, transparent, sustainable, reliable, and quality business relations with our suppliers.

Within this scope,

  • We pay the utmost attention to our suppliers’ implementation of all considerations in the Global Principles Agreement of the United Nations,
  • We prioritize suppliers who work with socially beneficial and environmentally friendly systems for the supply of their products and services,
  • We make efforts to evaluate the jobs and working conditions of third-party employees from which we receive services within the scope of the undertakings before international organizations,
  • Within the framework of sustainability, we aim to ensure equality of opportunity for our employees and partners, support disadvantaged groups, raise awareness of an inclusive culture, and determine policies that support the survival of this culture.

Moreover, we expect our suppliers to comply with the ethical, social, and environmental responsibilities in the "Supplier Work and Behavioral Principles" section, including human rights in particular.

Relations and Operations with Other Business Partners

We also care about compliance with the fundamental principles in operations and relations with our other business partners and encourage them to follow this direction and to comply with the basic principles.

IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING

Our employees are responsible for acting in full accordance with the principles in this Board- approved policy, and building and operating the control and monitoring mechanisms required for the implementation of the policy. The necessary training programs are designed to support this and to raise awareness and consciousness of human rights, and employees are sure to benefit from them.

In addition, they are regularly assessed and reported to the Sustainability Committee by measuring the tracking indicators to identify the Human Rights Policy document, the risks, impacts, and measures in this context, and possible development area s. The steps and results of implementation and monitoring are included in the bank's integrated reporting documents.

Any incident, behavior, or transaction that does not comply with the policy is expected to be reported via email to etik@akbank.com or by calling + 90 212 385 77 77. All notifications received by the ethics line are transferred by the Internal Control Unit to the relevant departments within the framework of privacy principles and the se departments take the reports under review meticulously and encourage the necessary actions.

 
 
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