Human rights are fundamental freedoms that must be equally and fairly applied to every individual regardless of race, gender, nationality, religion or any other personal characteristics. As a responsible business, we have a duty to uphold international human rights laws and standards across all aspects of our operations, supply chains, and business relationships.


This includes promoting fair labour practices and treating all communities with respect, not only as an ethical obligation but also as a social license to operate. By adhering to these principles, we aim to build our reputation as a responsible corporate citizen, which will help to build stakeholder trust for years to come.​



Human rights is a material matter to CIMB and is of great importance to our Board and top management. The ultimate responsibility for human rights lies with the Board of Directors and the Group Sustainability and Governance Committee of the Board. At the management level, the Group Chief Sustainability Officer, overseen by the Group Sustainability Council (GSC), is responsible for managing human rights risk as a key element of Sustainability Risk at CIMB.


Implementation of our Human Rights policy extends to all aspects of our business and is executed by business units and business enablers:

  • Group Sustainability oversees the implementation of the Human Rights Policy and Procedure across all aspects of our business, with the support and collaboration of Business Units and Business Enablers. Group Sustainability conducts control testing on these policies and procedures to proactively identify areas for improvement

  • Group Corporate Assurance Division conducts periodic audits to maintain accountability and effectiveness of our policies

  • Relationship Managers from the various lines of business conduct Basic Sustainability Due Diligence, which includes a human rights due diligence, on clients in compliance with our Group Sustainability Financing Policy. For cases where a high risk of human rights is identified, Group Sustainability conducts an Enhanced Sustainability Due Diligence

  • Group Strategic Procurement conducts and oversees the sustainability due diligence, including human rights due diligence, on vendors/suppliers during the RFP process and during onboarding of new vendors whereby vendors/suppliers are required to acknowledge the Vendor Code of Conduct

  • CIMB Foundation and our Corporate Social Responsibility function conducts the sustainability due diligence when onboarding new partners

  • Group Human Resources manages complaint and whistleblowing channels for employees and unions

Our Group Human Rights Policy


Our Human Rights policy provides guidance on identifying, assessing, and managing salient human rights risks which present the most severe potential negative impacts.


The policy aims to provide clarity and transparency on human rights management across the Group. This is to ensure consistency between internal practices and external expectations, including legal and regulatory obligations and voluntary commitments to respect and protect human rights. Within the broader scope of human rights, we focus on issues and risks that are most pertinent to our operations and activities. The policy has been rolled out across the Group in 2023. Read our Group Human Rights Policy here.


CIMB commits to continuous human rights due diligence to identify, prevent, and mitigate adverse human rights impacts identified across the Group through collaborations with our stakeholders. This is done on a risk-based approach, with the greatest attention paid to the areas of greatest risk to the Group, and most salient impacts on people, and in particular, vulnerable groups. For example, we engage with our clients who have a large number of migrant workers in Malaysia, to understand their worker practices, and their own human rights policies, due diligence mechanism, and grievance mechanism.

Taking Action and Providing Remedy


We recognise our responsibility to contribute to remediation. Remedies may include apologies, restitution, rehabilitation, financial or non-financial compensation, as well as the prevention of harm.

When we discover that a human rights abuse has taken place, we will take appropriate steps to ascertain whether we have caused or contributed to the adverse human rights impact.


  • When we have directly caused these impacts, we are responsible for resolving the issue and providing remedy.
  • Where we have contributed to an adverse human rights impact, we will provide mechanisms through which grievances can be raised and strive to contribute to remediation, where necessary and appropriate, ensuring no penalty, dismissal or reprisal.
  • Where we have not caused or contributed to an adverse impact, but are directly linked to it through our products, operations or services, we recognise that we are able to play a role in remediation, for example, by engaging with our clients about their own grievance mechanisms and remediation pathway.

Commitments and Frameworks​


We commit to uphold and comply with:​


i. The International Bill of Human Rights, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR);​


ii. UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;​


iii. ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.​

With regards to labour rights, we commit to the following: ​


i. Avoid causing or contributing to labour rights violations as per national legislation standards. In the event where there is a discrepancy between national, regional, and international standards, we will engage with stakeholders to explore approaches that respect international standards.​


ii. Respect the rights of our employees, including:​

a. freedom of representation; ​

b. right to collective bargaining;​

c. a safe and healthy work environment, including safety from any forms of harassment such as sexual harassment;​

d. fair recruitment and other people practices;​

e. preventing modern slavery; and​

f. respecting regulations on minimum wage and maximum working hours.​


iii. Eliminate discrimination in the workplace and promote diversity and inclusion.​


Our framework further adopts principles and recommendations laid out in recognised international, regional and local frameworks, including:​


i. The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative Principles for Responsible Banking;​


ii. UN Sustainable Development Goals;​


iii. Bank Negara Malaysia’s Value-Based Intermediation Financing and Investment Impact Assessment Framework and Association of Banks in Malaysia’s ESG Principles​

Our Policy in Action ​

The integration of human rights considerations into our financing procedures has become a requirement and a key element in our risk assessment process. Where there is non-compliance with human rights standards, clients are requested to implement corrective action plans.​

We conduct Sustainability Due Diligence on our vendors and suppliers as well as requiring vendors to acknowledge CIMB's Vendor Code of Conduct. Guided by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we assess actual and potential adverse human rights impacts and how we may have directly caused, contributed, or linked to an abuse of rights within our supply chain.​

We continue to maintain a strong emphasis and commitment to ensure that the rights of our employees are protected. This includes their freedom of association as well as regulatory labour rights.

We are expanding our current grievance mechanism to cater for raising of human rights grievances against our business relations, such as clients, vendors, partners, etc., which will be protected by our Whistleblowing Policy. If investigations reveal that CIMB has caused or contributed to human rights violations, we will take steps to rectify the situation. ​