Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement
The Society’s Board fully supports the objectives of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and is intent on meeting the specific requirements of the Act in relation to where the Society might encounter modern day slavery.
Specifically, the Society will not engage in any business activity with a third-party organisation which engages, or is believed to engage in, people trafficking, slavery, forced labour or domestic servitude.
The financial services industry does not carry a high-risk exposure to modern day slavery. Nonetheless the Society undertakes due diligence on its key third-party partners and suppliers to ensure that their policies and practices are both compliant with the Modern Slavery legislation and are aligned to the Society’s expectations.
During 2021 the Society continued to develop its approach to protect against people trafficking, slavery, forced labour or domestic servitude from its supply chain. We:
- Became a signatory of the UN Principles of Responsible Banking (PRBs) further strengthening our alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals including Goal 8 “Decent work and economic growth”, which aims to tackle many of the underlying causes of Modern Slavery.
- Invested in a new Strategic Sourcing system to enhance and automate our supply chain management including the provision of evidence of Modern Slavery compliance from new and existing suppliers.
These actions build on activity that the Society already has in place including:
- Seeking and receiving evidence from the Society’s most critical suppliers that where they are required to publish a Modern Slavery Statement that they have done so
- As part of our work to combat Modern Slavery, the Society continued to support and promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Goal 8 “Decent work and economic growth”, which aims to tackle many of the underlying causes of Modern Slavery. We became the first Financial Services organisation to receive five-star recognition for our support of the SDGs from Support the Goals, an initiative to rate and recognise the businesses that support the SDGs. We have agreed the SDGs which we believe we can have the greatest impact on as a business
- Created a Society Sustainability Steering Group to monitor and promote our developments in supporting the SDGs
- The Sustainability Steering Group oversees the work we do to support the SDGs as part of our Sustainability Strategy. They meet bi-monthly to monitor progress against the Society’s Sustainability Strategy and to drive the delivery of our vision to build a better Society which includes the eradication of Modern Slavery
- Operating a supplier risk assessment tool to better identify the broad range of supplier risks
- Clear tender documentation that sets out the Society’s position on modern slavery which requires confirmation of potential suppliers’ approach to countering the risk of modern slavery in their supply chain
- Ensuring that the Society’s tender requirements have a focus on ensuring supplier compliance with all relevant legislation and regulatory requirements including the MSA 2015
- A central Supplier Relationship Management team responsible for annual compliance checks including compliance with the MSA 2015
- Operating a supplier Code of Conduct which sets out the Society’s expectations of suppliers across a range of issues including modern slavery which all suppliers are expected to comply with
- Made changes to our operational processes in line with the SDGs
- Carried out annual governance reviews on relevant suppliers requiring confirmation of their adherence to modern slavery requirements.
The Society is committed to working closely with our suppliers to develop our approach and confirm our commitment to the identification and abolition of modern slavery. Close engagement with, and understanding of, our supply chain helps us to work collaboratively with our suppliers to share best practise in tackling any potential instances of modern slavery or human trafficking.
This statement was approved on 1st March 2022 by the Board of Directors of Skipton Building Society and is signed by:
David Cutter, Group Chief Executive. Robert East, Chairman.