Equitable Bank Standards
A roadmap for better banks
The Equitable Bank Standards are a collaborative and shared resource that provide a measurable pathway for all banks to achieve social and environmental impact.
A clear vision
We believe in a future where banks revitalize and nourish our communities—not extract from them.
- Download the Equitable Bank Standards (PDF)
- Download accompanying Resources & References (PDF)
- Subscribe to email updates for the Standards
- Contact our team to provide feedback or get support
- Read the announcement
Equitable Bank Standards
Why this matters: Corporations primarily seeking profits for shareholders have exacerbated inequality, accelerated environmental degradation, and excluded critical stakeholders, like bank customers and community members.
Why this matters: Banks have outsized power over societal outcomes in part by deciding which individuals, businesses, and nonprofits get loans to operate and expand. Banks evaluate borrowers for creditworthiness and other factors but generally have not evaluated whether loans will help or harm people, communities, and the environment.
Why this matters: Mainstream bank products and services have not adequately or equitably met the needs of low income, low wealth, and historically marginalized communities and often have shortcomings in pricing, structure, or delivery methods that result in negative outcomes for people and communities.
Why this matters: Many corporations, including banks, have not yet created a working environment free of negative environmental impacts and where all employees can thrive, have a sense of belonging, and reach their full potential.
Why this matters: Many corporations, including banks, have lobbied for greater deregulation resulting in disparate harm to low-income, low wealth, and historically marginalized communities.
How can I use these standards?
Use the Equitable Bank Standards to become an ESG banking leader:
- Evaluate your current ESG and CSR practices and set objectives for continuous improvement
- Inspire your colleagues, board, and leadership team to integrate social impact metrics into your business planning process
- Showcase your social impact progress to gain market share with the growing segment of conscious customers
Policymakers and regulators
Use the Equitable Bank Standards to shape fair and inclusive financial regulations and policy:
- Identify minimum performance standards banks must meet to be deemed safe and fair
- Build a proactive regulatory and policy agenda centered on equity in banking
- Incentivize banks to meet the highest standards and penalize banks that fall short of the minimum thresholds
Use the Equitable Bank Standards to determine how banking impacts your mission and goals:
- Learn how banks can help or harm your fight for economic, social, and environmental justice
- Assess banks based on how they are supporting your goals for progress on social and environmental justice work
- Shape your advocacy agenda and demands for banks, regulators, and policymakers
Bank customers and changemakers
Use the Equitable Bank Standards to assess how banks use your money:
- Learn how banks use your money to support or work against your values
- Find a socially responsible purpose–driven bank, using these standards as your guide
- Communicate to your bank how they can change to better align with what you care about
Developed in community
Developed in partnership with social impact bankers, finance experts, economic justice advocates, and academic researchers, the Equitable Bank Standards are a work in—and for—progress.