15 October 2018

Equator Principles Annual Meeting and EP IV Review

This week, the Equator Principle Association (EPA) is holding its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Member banks will deliberate proposed updates to the Principles as part of the Equator Principles IV Review (EP IV). The focus of the review covers four thematic areas: (1) social impact and human rights; (2) the scope of applicability of the Equator Principles (EPs); (3) climate change; and (4) the use of “designated countries” to determine where the EPs should apply.

Over the past few months, we and our partners have provided input on the revision process and offered recommendations to close the accountability gaps that exist in the current EP framework. For example, we have called for the EP members to increase their commitment to transparency and accountability, so that all member banks are adequately incentivized to implement the social and environmental ideals that the EPs promote. As we have pointed out in an Open Letter to EPFIs alongside BankTrack and other civil society partners, the lack of any meaningful accountability structure threatens to strip the EP system of credibility. An effective, independent grievance mechanism that can provide adversely impacted communities with access to remedy is a prerequisite to the EPs functioning as intended. Accountability Counsel and our partners call upon the EP membership to ensure that the EPs serve their purpose by committing to transparency and accountability.