As a service-based business, supply chain management is not a primary driver of our sustainability performance. Nevertheless, we rely on a range of vendors, agencies and third-party financial product suppliers to support the effective operation of our business. The actions of these external parties potentially expose us to reputational and other risks.

We have stringent standards for assessing suppliers, including requirements relating to environmental, social and ethical practices. In return, we provide transparency and fairness in our procurement process and contractual arrangements.

Our management of supplier relationships is designed to not only safeguard our brand and our business, but also to promote responsible practices among other companies in our community.

As a service-based business, supply chain management is not a primary driver of our sustainability performance. However, our relationships with contractors and suppliers represent an additional opportunity for us to encourage positive change among businesses in our community. We must also protect our corporate reputation by requiring suppliers to demonstrate a commitment to ethical behaviour and other sound operating values.

We have clear policies and guidelines for selecting contractors to ensure they can provide services in full compliance with our supplier sustainability standards, which cover areas such as ethics, health and safety, employment policies, human rights-related issues and environmental performance.

Suppliers are required to meet the requirements of our ethical code of conduct – the Ethical and Environmental Code of Conduct for Suppliers of Goods and Services (Code). In addition to confirming their full compliance with all relevant legislation, regulations and directives in the countries in which they operate, all our suppliers must agree to respect the human rights of their employees and local communities.

Our supplier pre-qualification documents also ask contractors to complete a questionnaire covering environmental issues, including whether they have an established environmental management system and/or have attained ISO 14001 accreditation, which is assessed as part of the tender process.

Suppliers with whom we have regular and recurring dealings must have demonstrable management processes in place to ensure their continued compliance with the Code, and must make reasonable efforts to monitor and ensure that their own supply chain is aware of and compliant with the Code’s standards.

We continue to monitor supplier practices following their appointment and reserve the right to randomly review a supplier's policies, procedures or any other document related to our Code. In some cases, we may request an on-site audit.

All our procurement is done on a competitive basis and we have strict procedures governing staff conduct when handling procurement issues. Our procurement policy also governs internal control of operating and capital expenditures, covering all purchases and expenditure by the Bank. The policy aims to support operational efficiency, segregation of duties and the requirement to make the 'best buy' as well as ensure transparency throughout the procurement process.

We use e-procurement systems to reduce paper consumption and lead times as well as enhance supplier control and information management. We encourage our suppliers and contractors to use or offer environmentally friendlier or recycled products whenever possible.

For third-party suppliers of financial products and services, we choose to only work with highly reputable organisations that have a demonstrable track record of high corporate standards and we have rigorous assessment procedures in place to ensure any investment or insurance solution not only meets regulatory requirements but also our internal standards for any product or service we intend to offer to customers.