13. The Fund’s financing shall contribute to social advancement through access to appropriate financial services. The Fund invests in financial actors:
▪ having objectives and practices which strive for a positive change in the lives of ultimate beneficiaries, particularly among women, youth and rural populations.
▪ who do not discriminate on the ground of ethnicity, religion, gender, or age.
▪ having policies and procedures which treat clients responsibly and prevent harm to ultimate beneficiaries. Taken as a whole, the financial actor has constituted adequate safeguards, including for risks arising from the prevalent over indebtedness of clients, harmful collection practices and more in general fair and respectful treatment of clients.
▪ ensuring adequate protection of client data and their treatment, while promoting the transparent communication with clients, including comprehensible contracts and their terms and conditions and effective complaint mechanisms.
▪ having sound governance systems which facilitate the consideration of clients’ interests alongside their own interests, including a reasonable balance between pricing to clients and their own financial objectives and reflecting the diversity of shareholders or members, clients and stakeholders, including an adequate representation of women on the board of directors.
▪ treating their employees with respect and fairness, paying adequate salaries while maintaining justifiable differences in salary levels across its ranks and working towards the elimination of any gender pay gap. The financial actor must respect local labour laws and offer adequate social protection to employees. In addition, the financial actor needs to respect and monitor compliance with core labour standards as defined by the International Labour Organisation.
▪ who are committed to transparency in their operations and financial and nonfinancial position and performance.
▪ operating in jurisdictions which have conducive frameworks for the above goals.
14. Conversely, the Fund shall not invest in financial actors:
▪ Who are or have been in gross violation of Client Protection Standards.
▪ Who do not and are not open to adhering to industry standards in terms of social and environmental performance, client protection and treatment of employees.
▪ Financing acquisition, distribution or transport of any weapons or ammunition.
▪ Financing any activity or project which leads to the forceful resettlement of communities, affects negatively indigenous people and/or harms cultural heritage.
▪ Financing any activity involving gambling, casinos, pornography, or prostitution.
▪ Financing any activities involving harmful or exploitative forms of forced labour or harmful child labour.
15. At any time during the investment, the Fund should avoid and minimise any potential negative impact and promote appropriate measures to reinforce positive effects on the investees. Therefore, the Fund shall have processes to assess compliance with minimum standards and set limits when it considers practices to be at risk of causing harm.
16. The Fund shall not intentionally facilitate excessive credit growth by providing substantial financing to multiple actors active in the same geographies and targeting the same beneficiaries.
17. The Fund accepts that its investment strategy entails a crowding in of additional investors, who may be able to provide finance at a larger scale and more attractive conditions, which may eventually render the Fund’s financing of the financial actor obsolete. Accordingly, the Fund may actively promote such a trend through collaboration with other investors.