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BSP, IFC encourage Philippine banks to integrate ESG practices, promote sustainable finance


Rachel Nalus Quintos
Phone: (632) 465-2708

E-mail:
rnalus@ifc.org


Manila, February 13, 2018——The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group, are hosting a high-level forum today. The event — in sync with BSP’s efforts to help the local banking sector step up its game on sustainable finance — aims to encourage Philippine banks to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards in their operations, to increase financing for climate-friendly and socially inclusive projects.

The forum aims to help banks’ boards and senior executives with an in-depth understanding of ESG approaches and practices, and also offer them an insight into sustainable finance initiatives, opportunities, and resources.


The half-day event brings together local and international practitioners in sustainability, including foreign banking associations, development organizations, and financial institutions. The event provides a platform to share thoughts about global developments in climate finance and ESG integration, and showcase local experiences in sustainable finance.


Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr. stated that “The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will continue to support such capacity building initiatives in response to the needs articulated by the banks. With greater awareness and exposure to how ESG and environmental and social risk management (ESRM) can be integrated in the business practices, we believe Philippine banks will see positive effects on their bottom line, client retention and organizational reputation while contributing to sustainable growth and development.


This event marks the second knowledge-sharing collaboration between BSP and IFC since they signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in May 2017. The MoU covers activities that enhance capacities and raise ESG standards in the banking sector. BSP is committed to promoting corporate governance and ESG, and is a member of the IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network (SBN), a knowledge and capacity-building platform for financial regulators and banking associations. The BSP benefits from, and contributes its experiences to SBN, which currently comprises 34 member-countries.


“In bringing together leaders of the Philippine financial institutions and banking organizations for this forum, BSP is taking significant steps to promote sustainable finance in the country,” said Vivek Pathak, IFC Director for East Asia and the Pacific. “Green finance presents a huge opportunity to deliver the country’s goals on sustainable development and climate action. Higher standards of environmental and social risk management by financial institutions will encourage more private finance to flow into greener and socially inclusive projects,” he added.


Also at the event, IFC, the Bankers Institute of the Philippines (BAIPHIL), which serves as the banking sector’s training arm, and Mongolian Bankers Association (MBA), signed an MoU to advance sustainable finance and green banking practices in the Philippines and Mongolia through capacity development and knowledge-sharing. Under the agreement, BAIPHIL and MBA will be strengthened as repositories of knowledge on sustainable finance and green banking in their respective countries and in the region. This agreement builds on a learning exchange that was held in Mongolia last year. BAIPHIL and BSP representatives participated in that event to learn from MBA’s and its member banks’ experiences in promoting sustainable finance.


IFC’s E&S risk management and CG programs in the Philippines are implemented in partnership with the Government of Japan and State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland respectively.


About IFC

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In FY17, we delivered a record $19.3 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to help end poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org
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About IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network

The Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) is a knowledge and capacity-building platform of financial regulators, banking associations, and environmental regulators from emerging markets committed to advancing sustainable finance in line with international good practice. The Network facilitates the collective learning of members and supports them in policy development and related initiatives to create drivers for sustainable finance. IFC acts as the Secretariat of the Network, playing the role of facilitator and technical adviser to SBN. SBN membership now consists of 34 member countries, which represent more than 85 percent of the banking assets across emerging markets. For more information on the Sustainable Banking Network, visit
www.ifc.org/sbn.


About Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is the central monetary authority of the Republic of the Philippines.  Its primary objective is to maintain price stability conducive to a balanced and sustainable economic growth. It aims to promote and preserve monetary stability and convertibility of the national currency. The BSP provides policy directions in the areas of money, banking and credit. It supervises operations of banks and exercises regulatory powers over non-bank financial institutions with quasi-banking functions. The BSP likewise takes lead in promoting an efficient payments and settlements system by providing the necessary infrastructure through the operation of the Philippines’ real time gross settlement system.


The vision of the BSP is to be a world-class monetary authority and a catalyst for a globally competitive economy and financial system that delivers a high quality of life for all Filipinos. To support the achievement of this vision, the BSP has committed to promoting financial inclusion as a means to achieve inclusive growth. The BSP financial inclusion initiatives cover four broad areas (a) policy and regulation, (b) financial education and consumer protection, (c) data and measurement, and (d) advocacy programs. For more information about the BSP, visit
www.bsp.gov.ph