Nucleus recognises that a robust environmental, social and governance (ESG) proposition creates value for stakeholders, including our employees, customers, partners and borrowers. The ESG approach by Nucleus primarily focuses on social and ethical considerations and is best described as ‘Exclusion criteria to asset selection and allocation’. Lending decisions are not influenced by or subject to any sustainability factor, but rather we seek to exclude certain asset classes and industry sectors that we have determined fall outside of basic ethical considerations within the ESG framework.
Not only does a strong ESG proposition benefit our network financially, but it also has a positive impact elsewhere, including increased employee productivity, increased growth, reduced costs, and fewer instances of legal interventions.
Building sustainability into our lending strategy is a priority and we believe that any company within financial services should put an increased emphasis on incorporating ESG thinking into the core of its lending process.
Below we have explained how ESG remains an important factor in our business decisions and operations.
Global production and consumption have a huge impact on our environment, so it is important to be mindful of that and seek out ways to reduce our corporate footprint. We allow flexible working conditions, such as working from home, therefore minimizing the need for a daily work commute.
Where possible, we minimise company waste and look for responsible ways in which to discard any unused company equipment – such as recycling and donating technological devices when they are no longer required. We strive to be a company that is both well-performing as well as socially responsible.
We understand that we have a responsibility to our employees as well as the environment. We enforce fair and legal labour standards amongst our entire workforce and go beyond basic human rights. All employees have access to private healthcare, including mental health support, through the private health insurance we provide as part of our employee renumeration package.
Employee productivity is directly impacted by working conditions and we seek to minimise any detriment to employee welfare by ensuring we provide a safe, diverse, and inclusive environment for all employees.
As a company, we must not only make every effort to protect the planet but must also look after our employees, customers, and wider community – the ones who have to live on it.
We are always looking at ways to further improve our risk management, though we currently have robust systems in place that already successfully minimise any potential risks we may face. In the case of our introducers, we ensure our entire introducer network is either FCA approved or a part of a recognised regulatory body, such as the NACFB.
We also vigorously verify the identities of our customers before paying funds out to customers through both Know Your Customer (KYC) processes and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Through these processes, we ensure that the Directors and major shareholders of the companies to which we lend have passed these rigid checks, which includes consideration on their suitability from a social and ethical point of view.
Nucleus does not actively undertake an assessment of the principal adverse impacts (“PAIs”) of its lending decisions on ESG factors given the nature of the UK SME market. Our focus is to avoid those market sectors that would have a negative effect on ESG factors.
We will not knowingly lend to companies that are engaged in:
* Arms / weapons manufacturing
* Manufacture of tobacco
* Hard spirits
* Genetically modified organisms
* Oil production
* Coal / mining
* UN / USA / UK / EU sanctioned countries, companies, individuals
The scope of the above restrictions is not exhaustive and is reviewed on a regular basis.