Enhancing Accountability on the Equator Principles

The EPs were originally launched in 2003 by a group of 10 banks. Following a number of large-scale projects with negative impacts in the 1990s, private banks felt pressure from civil society to consider their environmental and social impact of project financing. The EPs were in part a response to this pressure. Many of these civil society organizations later formed BankTrack, an Accountability Counsel partner.

Following the 2006 review and update of the IFC Performance Standards, the EPs were revised following a stakeholder consultation period. The EPII was released in June 2006 and included important changes such as enhanced consultation with project affected communities, disclosure, and project-level grievance mechanism requirements.

The second review process was launched in July 2011, and BankTrack submitted comments on the Draft EPIII on 10 October, 2012. Accountability Counsel contributed to the comments by BankTrack. The comments focused on strengthening commitments to transparency and human rights. The comments also sought enhancement of accountability through the development of robust criteria for project-level grievance mechanisms and through the establishment of an independent accountability process at the level of the Equator Principles.

Following a two-year consultation and negotiating process, the EPIII was released in June 2013.