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EBRD, NBU sign Memorandum of Understanding on veteran reintegration in financial sector, with more than 20 banks signed up


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which, they will support financial institutions across Ukraine to adopt standards set out in a charter designed to make banks more accessible to hundreds of thousands of veterans, both as clients and employees.

At a Kyiv conference on Tuesday on veteran reintegration, the EBRD’s Managing Director for Financial Institutions, Francis Malige, and NBU Chairman Andrii Pyshnyy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on promoting the charter to support veterans across Ukraine’s financial sector, according to the EBRD statement.

Over 20 banks have already joined the initiative and pledged to work together to make the financial sector more accessible to war veterans. “With close to 880,000 people directly participating in military operations as of January 2024, we need bold, collective, and scalable approaches that can benefit many more people across the country,” said Malige, as stated in the press release.

Ensuring the barrier-free and inclusive nature of the financial sector stands as a distinct objective within Ukraine’s Financial Sector Development Strategy and a priority for the country’s national bank, said Pyshnyy.

I am convinced that the charter is an effective tool that will unite banks around the issue of helping veterans and their families,” said the NBU Governor.

The charter encourages signatory companies to make financial services easier for veterans to access and use; to invest in accessibility technology to modify workplaces for veterans; to ensure spaces are risk-free for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; and to introduce veteran-friendly, inclusive, human resources policies and practices.

Alongside the charter, the EBRD also launched its own Veterans Reintegration Programme at the conference, with the signing of guarantee facilities with two major Ukrainian banks to unlock a total of €250 million of new financing for Ukraine’s private sector. These are the first two signings in the sector to include a commitment to develop a veteran reintegration programme for the lenders and their clients.

Future partners in this programme will work with the EBRD to fund support for veterans who wish to establish or grow their business, as well as companies that primarily serve veterans or are implementing veteran-friendly policies and trainings.

The programme also aims to provide technical assistance to the EBRD’s partner financial institutions, supporting reintegration of veterans as their employees and clients. And it will support veterans’ reintegration in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and smaller corporates by empowering financial institutions to transfer knowledge and provide advisory to their own clients on veteran reintegration policies.

According to the Ministry of Veterans’ Affairs, the total number of veterans is expected to exceed four or five million by the time this war ends,” said the EBRD’s Director for Gender and Economic Inclusion, Barbara Rambousek.


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