UBS is convener of the Thun Group, an informal group of bank representatives that work together with the primary purpose of i) furthering understanding of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights within the context of banking and, ii) considering how they may be applied across the range of different banking activities. The Thun Group’s focus is on sharing expertise and experience to support the integration of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) into the policies and practices of banking institutions. The name of the Group derives from the UBS conference center in Thun, Switzerland, where the group has regularly met since 2011.
In 2013, UBS co-launched the Thun Group of Banks’ first discussion paper on banking and human rights which aims to support banks in mapping and analyzing their own potential adverse impacts in relation to human rights, and also looks at related risks including reputational, legal, operational and financial risks. The Thun Group has since continued its deliberations and the sharing of knowledge and ideas. A second discussion paper, launched in January 2017, explores the meaning and reach of UNGP 13b in a corporate and investment banking context, and provides additional guidance around Principle 17. Both discussion papers are also intended to inform other pertinent initiatives, in the specific case of the second the OECD’s proactive agenda on Responsible Business Conduct. UBS is a member of the Advisory Group to the OECD’s project.