Our operating environment

Our approach to sustainable banking focuses on identifying the topics that matter to our stakeholders (including customers, investors, UK government, employees and civil society) and is determined by the environment in which we operate. Our operating environment continues to evolve at pace across economic, social, environmental, political, regulatory and technological boundaries. We consider external societal megatrends and the UN SDGs to inform our thinking and approach.

We have published an integrated assessment of the most important considerations with the potential to influence our ability to serve customers and create value for the long term. They carry both risks and opportunities for us, driven by a mixture of direct commercial impact and stakeholder interest as a result of wider societal trends.

For the 2019 review, we undertook a three-step process:

1. Mapping exercise – Strategy, Risk and Sustainable Banking teams conducted a joint summary review and mapping exercise, which focused on Top and Emerging risks and insights gained from research on societal megatrends. This built on the work completed in 2018 and assessed new/emerging issues alongside shifts in perception.

2. Review and validation – As part of the mapping exercise we completed a review, which resulted in recommended changes for 2019. Outputs were reviewed by a centralised working group for accuracy, alignment and signposting.

3. Final recommendations - A reduced list of topics (from 19 to 12) were agreed following changes to titles and definitions. Each were mapped to the five strategic priorities and chapters of the 2019 Strategic Report.