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

  • China Report: The Risks and Opportunities of Stranded Assets

    Date: 06-Oct-2015

    The rise and fall of different technologies, products and businesses are central to rising productivity in healthy, well-functioning markets. This process can result in “stranded assets”—assets that have suffered from unanticipated or premature write-downs, devaluations or conversion to liabilities. Stranded assets are therefore a regular and necessary feature of dynamic economic systems, a phenomenon inherent

  • Sustainable Finance?

    Date: 29-Feb-2016

    This paper seeks to assess how the international banking community is building sustainability into corporate strategies; how effectively these strategies are being implemented; how sustainability is being embedded into key business processes and decisions; and how sustainability principles are reflected in reporting. It presents an assessment of the sustainability performance of banks using a range of

  • China Report: Alignment of Investment Strategies with Climate Scenarios

    Date: 06-Oct-2015

    Financial institutions today are unable to measure their exposure to climate change. There are equally no approaches to inform on the alignment of their investment strategies with national or international environmental goals. This report outlines international developments in measuring and managing climate related risk in instituional investment and banking. It outlines implications for regulators in

  • Banking & Sustainability: Time for Convergence

    Date: 01-Sep-2015

    In 2014, the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) commissioned a study entitled Stability and Sustainability in Banking Reform – Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III?, in recognition of the growing number of banking regulators around the world that have started to act on environmental

  • Effects of Financial System Size and Structure on the Real Economy

    Date: 07-Nov-2015

    This paper provides an overview of the findings in the empirical economics and finance literature on the effects that various financial system characteristics have on real economic outcomes. Although the empirical evidence on various relationships is mixed, there appears to be relatively robust empirical evidence that: financial deepening promotes economic development only up to a

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Green Banking System

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    This paper sets out the case for establishing a green banking system in China. It recommends the establishment of a system of green banks empowered to fully leverage their expertise, scale, and risk management to manage green loans and investments. A China Ecological Development Bank should be established in which the government does not have to have a

  • Exploring Financial Policy and Regulatory Barriers to Private Climate Finance in South-East Asia

    Date: 06-Sep-2015

    This report is based on primary research carried out through interviews with finance industry practitioners, government officials, financial market regulators, and civil society actors in Indonesia, Phillipines and Viet Nam, as well as desk research on Malaysia and Cambodia. The objective was to identify and analyze existing and potential policy or regulatory barriers within the financial markets

  • 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

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