Environmental Social Governance Report
Chief Risk Officer's report
Deborah Hrvatin

As a financial market infrastructure, our primary responsibility is to our clients, colleagues, the communities in which we operate and the FX market we support.

Our mission to strengthen resilience and efficiency in the FX ecosystem through global oversight and mutual ownership makes us a truly unique organization: we are in a category of one. Since our inception in 2002, we have remained resolute on delivering that market stability for the benefit of the ecosystem and our owners and clients.

We recognized the need to establish a more formal framework which encompassed all aspects of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and set about establishing an overall ESG strategy that would enable us to deliver on our ambitions.

The sense of delivering value to the market is felt across our entire organization. The pandemic has demonstrated that in times of market stress, our colleagues are able to mobilize quickly to maintain market stability and service excellence every day. As Marc references in his message, we operated our settlement services seamlessly throughout the year, which reflects this organization’s dedication to its purpose.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also brought environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices into stark focus, not just for CLS but across the globe. As individuals navigate the complexities of a world affected by a pandemic, climate change and broader economic and political instability, organizations must be more conscious than ever of their responsibility to contribute to the longer-term goals of society.

The global industry is converging on common principles and metrics to drive transparency on this important topic, and there has been collective recognition by the CLS Board, Executive Management Committee and the broader colleague population that we all must do even more to support our community and planet, empower our people, foster wellbeing and set a benchmark of excellence for good governance.

Thanks to our purpose-driven strategy and a robust people agenda focused on attracting, developing and retaining diverse high-performing teams, we have many of these aspects in place today. We are committed to making CLS an even better place to work and force for good in our local communities, and have been extremely active in supporting those communities and progressing equity and inclusion across the organization.

Notable milestones have been the formation of an employee resource group to collaborate with HR, affinity groups and employee volunteers in developing our overall inclusion agenda. This has manifested itself in the expansion of our Women’s Forum across all our locations to ensure global representation and the formalization of Black and Pride networks to promote inclusion and allyship. Of particular note was our first Listening Session, in which Black colleagues shared insight into their own life experiences in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests.

As the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic swept across the globe, we also placed renewed effort into supporting our local communities. This included launching food drives and fundraising projects to support the British National Health Service, the Food Bank for New York City and Southwark Foodbank, the Japanese Red Cross and Mother’s Choice, a Hong Kong-based charity supporting pregnant teenagers and children without families.

In 2020 we recognized the need to establish a more formal framework which encompassed all aspects of ESG and set about establishing an overall ESG strategy that would enable us to deliver on our ambitions. Comprising four pillars, it is inspired by the United Nation’s seven sustainable development goals. They are principles of governance (our governing purpose, leadership composition and ethical behavior), planet (our action on climate), people (reduced inequality and health and wellbeing) and prosperity (sustainable communities). Their selection represents both new initiatives and existing ones where we can expand activity easily. They represent a sustainable starting point that will be enhanced as our ESG framework matures.

In Q3 of 2020 this overall ESG strategy and framework was approved and endorsed by the CLS Board and senior management, and is also one of our top corporate priorities for 2021. Following the creation of an internal employee resource group, we are now actively pushing forward with our ESG agenda. Initial activity has included performing a gap analysis against best practice and our current initiatives, and we are now in the process of establishing a program of ESG activities, metrics and disclosure reporting as well as embedding ESG into our working practices, policies and procedures throughout 2021.

I am personally extremely excited about the prospect of ESG at CLS and the difference we can make as an organization. I look forward to providing you with comprehensive updates in future.

Deborah Hrvatin
Chief Risk Officer
Executive Sponsor

2020 Annual report and consolidated accounts