Catalyzing a Shared Sustainable Future: Responsible Banking at Yes Bank

This case is a Runner-up in the 2016 oikos Global Case Writing Competition (Sustainable Finance track), organized by oikos International, Switzerland.

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Being a relatively late entrant into the Indian banking arena, Yes Bank sought to differentiate itself by offering a new value proposition. According to Kapoor, Yes Bank was a ‘knowledge-driven’ bank that sought to differentiate itself with its service orientation, technology, and human resources. “I think we are a differentiator for emerging India, the small and medium enterprises, where there is a terrific development taking place.” Rather than expanding very quickly, the bank focused on niche segments of customers. Its aim was to establish itself as a knowledge-based and technology-driven bank that would cater to the needs of the emerging Indian economy. Unlike many of the private sector banks whose focus was mainly on retail banking, Yes Bank focused on corporate banking by offering specialized services to corporate clients. This was in part due to the fact that the retail banking space had already been well covered by some other new generation private banks, which had started a decade earlier. The bank carved a niche market for itself in specialized corporate services like mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, currency risk management, etc. It also focused on providing wealth management solutions to affluent customers...

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Yes Bank adhered to the norms of a triple bottom-line approach, which was inculcated in its strategy to prioritize the role of people, planet, and profit for its sustained business growth. It had embedded sustainability in its operational policies as a part of its culture. The bank became the first Indian bank to release its sustainability report for Financial Year 2012-13 as per the GRI G3.1 Guidelines , wherein the bank reasserted its triple bottom-line ethos of effectively managing people, planet, and profit in its business operations...


Yes Bank championed the cause of providing innovative and comprehensive financial solutions to all its valued customers through its ‘Responsible Banking’ approach. The bank had a sustainable strategy both in its operational policy and business practices which incorporated ‘Responsible Banking’ practices as the core principle in its policy framework...


Realizing the socio-environmental risks involved in sectoral investments, the bank developed its Environmental and Social Policy (ESP) in 2006 to evaluate, assess, and monitor the environmental and social impacts of its financial transactions with stakeholders...


Yes Bank’s sustainable finance model also focussed on the conservation of nature through its proactive approach in the natural capital space. The bank devised measures to assess, monitor, and arrest environmental risks by incorporating natural capital considerations into its business strategy. Yes Bank became the first Indian financial institution to support the global Natural Capital Declaration (NCD ) by adhering to the norms of natural capital considerations...


Industry experts observed that despite its sustainability initiatives and customer-centric approach, Yes Bank faced challenges in achieving sustained business growth. In pursuit of achieving its business target, the bank’s fast pace of growth would be an area of concern, they said. Commenting on Yes Bank’s retail business performance, an observer commented, “Corporate banking and wealth management services have been the key strength areas for Yes Bank right from its inception, but retail banking and access to cheap CASA (Current and Savings Account) funds may play a big role in competition...


In India, Yes Bank spearheaded the process of developing sustainable initiatives and became the torchbearer of sustainable development. Observers pointed out that the bank was successful in integrating its sustainability goals with its business operations as the key forces of growth, producing tangible results for its stakeholders...


Exhibit I: Key Financial Indicators of Yes Bank and its Competitors (FY2014-15)

Exhibit II: Top Ten Indian Banks by Year-on-Year Increase in Brand Value

Exhibit III: Financial and Operating Performance of Yes Bank from 2009-10 to 2014-15

Exhibit IV: Key Annual Financial Ratios of Yes Bank (2005-06 to 2015)

Exhibit V: Sustainability Awards of Yes Bank

Exhibit VI: YES Community Growth

Exhibit VII: Statistics Related to Yes Bank’s Financial Inclusion - Inclusive and Social Banking (ISB)

Exhibit VIII: ISB – Spearheading Financial Inclusion

Exhibit IX: Yes Bank’s Renewable Energy Lending Portfolio

Exhibit X: Environment Management Policy of Yes Bank

Exhibit XI: Map of Key Stakeholders

Exhibit XII: Yes Bank’s Engagement with Stakeholders