Banking

Asset Pools : Banking

With an aggregate balance sheet of US$135 trillion, banks hold over 45% of global financial assets and sit at the heart of the financial system, particularly in developing countries. Banks have a critical role in allocating credit to households and enterprises, and originating loans that can be bundled into products for long-term holders of assets. Policy packages that could be taken to align banking to sustainability are:
  • Extend risk-based governance: A number of regulators have introduced requirements for banks to take environmental and social factors into account risk management and due diligence. A second stage would be to develop sustainability stress tests.
  • Improve access to sustainable lending: A range of instruments can be deployed, including priority lending requirements, below-market rate finance via interest-rate subsidies and central bank refinancing operations and variations in capital requirements for certain classes of lending.
  • Align banking culture and structure: This cluster takes policy making beyond adjustments to risks and returns to look at underlying skills, values and market composition the sector.

Inquiry Publications

  • Greening the Banking System

    Date: 05-Sep-2016

    This paper takes stock of G20 experience with green banking, focusing on market practice. It assesses the evolving green banking agenda, focusing on mainstreaming and mobilization, drivers of progress, and key barriers. It concludes with a set of options for consideration by the G20. This input paper has been prepared by the authors as a

  • Brazil Country Report

    Date: 06-Apr-2015

    As a contribution to the UNEP Inquiry the Brazilian Bankers Federation FEBRABAN established a partnership with the Center for Sustainability Studies at Getulio Vargas Foundation (GVCes) to develop three studies on the practice and potential for green finance in Brazil. The first looks at the legislation, regulation, and public policies aimed at socio-environmental themes related to the financial

  • On the Role of Central Banks in Enhancing Green Finance

    Date: 20-Feb-2017

    The paper examines the role of central banks in ‘greening’ financial systems. Given the enormous investments needed to bring about a green transformation, the financial sector will have to play a central role in allocating resources towards a sustainable and green economy – and stop financing activities that harm the environment. Against this backdrop, the

  • Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development in the United States of America

    Date: 01-Feb-2016

    The US financial system is undoubtedly among the largest, most innovative and most sophisticated in the world. It is also clear that this is both a benefit and an impediment to non-governmental investment in sustainability and inclusiveness. To date, the actual investment in infrastructure and sustainability does not meet current needs, especially those related to maintaining

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Green Investor Networks

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    This paper set out the case for financial institutes and associations in China to establish  a green investor network, to monitor investees’ performance of their environmental obligations, foster green investment capabilities, and hold educational programs. Internationally, green investor networks such as the UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Principles for Responsible Investment have played a

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Lender Liability

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    In the event of a project causing environmental damage, in many countries its commercial lenders can also face legal liabilities. This forces lenders to take environmental impact into consideration in making investment and financing decisions. This paper makes the case for establishing environmental legal liabilities for commercial banks in China and highlights steps to take to implement this: Revise

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Discounted Green Loans

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    This paper argues that discounted interest rates for green loans can be  an effective means to use limited public subsidy to stimulate private investments equalling several times the amount of seed fund provided by the government. It recommends that China: Expland the use of discounted greend loans for energy conservation and environmental protection projects. Sreamline and

  • China Report: Lessons from the Development of Green Finance in China

    Date: 06-Oct-2015

    With the initial progress of China’s green finance market, some lessons are emerging that are useful both for the further development of the green finance system and for other emerging market countries embarking on green finance development.  Strategic political commitment has been the key driver for China’s development of green finance, but translating this into

  • China Report: Problems and Difficulties in the Development of China’s Green Finance

    Date: 06-Oct-2015

    In recent years, financial market policy-makers and regulators in China have shown leadership in advancing their roles in creating a green financial system. However, the impacts to date have been constrained by countervailing forces. In particular, the performance criteria on which local government officials are assessed still prioritizes economic growth over environmental compliance. The positive

  • The Equator Principles

    Date: 29-Feb-2016

    The Equator Principles are a voluntary code of conduct and a risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects, such as energy or infrastructure projects. Since their foundation in 2003, they were lauded for integrating social and environmental assessment practices into project assessments. Critics reason, however, that without fundamental

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