Fair Finance Guide International (FFGI) is an international civil society network initiated by Oxfam which seeks to strengthen banks’ and other financial institutions’ commitments to social, environmental and human rights standards. Recognising the strategic importance of financial institutions, FFGI uses its own internally developed methodology, based on internationally recognized standards, for assessing banks and other financial institutions’ disclosed commitments to Corporate Social Responsibility within their core businesses. Called the Fair Finance Guide, this methodology rests on the premise that financial institutions should adhere to legislation and regulation in countries where they operate and also comply with widely supported international standards even where these are not included in local legislation.
FFGI is currently active in 11 countries: Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Thailand. In every country, a coalition of civil society groups, with expertise in areas relevant for monitoring and assessing the financial sector, operates and publishes annual assessments of banks using the Fair Finance Guide. Country coalitions often include development and human rights organisations, labour unions, environmental groups and consumer organisations. FFGI-A central aim is to encourage and foster a ‘race to the top’ among banks and other financing entities - from a sustainability perspective.
FFGI thus assesses financial institutions’ support for activities through their financial services that contribute to sustainable development. FFGI believes that financial institutions should record these expectations and make them publicly known in their policies for specific issues and sectors. This is important so that consumers and other interested parties can compare financial institutions, and a wider range of stakeholders impacted by banks activities can be made aware of their commitments.