In November 2023 the National Bank of Argentina became the first bank at global level to receive the United Nations Development Program’s Gender Equality Seal certification for its commitment to reduce gender gaps in financial inclusion.
The award ceremony was held at the institution’s Head Office and was led by President Silvina Batakis and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Valentín González León.
“We are grateful for this distinction because there was really an enormous commitment of all the areas to generate a Bank that works towards gender equality”, said Batakis, who encouraged to continue along this line since “from the institutions we can promote and lay the foundations for a fairer and more equal society in terms of opportunities”.
In this regard, González León pointed out that “Banco Nación is the first financial institution in Argentina and worldwide to go through the entire Seal process, obtaining outstanding results”, and added that “it is a real honor to work with this bank, which shows great seriousness, professionalism and commitment to the objectives of sustainable development”.
The meeting was also attended by the second vice-president, José Ballesteros; the director and president of the Gender Commission, Cecilia Fernández Bugna; the manager of Gender, Diversity and Human Rights, Julia Pérego; the assistant general manager of Labor Relations, Marita Closas; the departmental manager of Human Resources Development and Training, Maximiliano Piantanida; the manager of Economic Research, Karina Angeletti; the general coordinator of UNDP Project ARG/20/003, Sergio Nóbile; the analyst of UNDP Argentina’s Democratic Governance Program, Karina Carpintero; and the technical manager of the Gender area, Diego Borisonik, as well as the head of UNDP’s Regional Gender Area, Guillermina Martín, and the Global Coordinator of the Seal, Ana Landa Ugarte.
In this process and thanks to the strong support of the Bank’s leadership and the support of UNDP, the bank has achieved significant results in financial inclusion. The BNA has innovated in the creation of several subsidized lines of credit with a focus on inclusion, something unusual in the financial sector (especially in the private sector) in the Latin American and Caribbean region; it has created 11 lines of credit with subsidized or reduced interest rates for companies led by women and another 7 with a minimum participation quota. As a result, 3,070 financing operations for companies led by women with a subsidized interest rate of 14,778 million pesos were reached. Additionally, as part of the “Registered Program”, thousands of people have been banked; according to the BNA, “Since this segment is 98% women, and suffers from great labor instability, financial products were created to favor their financial inclusion, with the creation of a free salary account, with a salary agreement generated directly with the Ministry of Labor, a credit card with easy access and no maintenance cost, and a loan line with a subsidized interest rate, with the particularity that it allows canceling pre-existing debts in other financial entities. As of June 2023, 32,301 salary accounts were opened, 2,301 product packages were granted and 1,919 loans were given for more than 312 million pesos”.