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

Date: 21-Aug-2015

Values based banking is a diverse movement drawing in community banks, ethical, green and socially oriented banks and including cooperatives, credit unions, privately owned banks, B Corporations and public companies that is purposively oriented towards the development of a sustainable economy. The paper identifies four values that need to be at the heart of a

Date: 07-Jan-2015

This is the 3rd Update Report of the UNEP Inquiry, it is focused on the challenge of financing the low-carbon transition. It explores how innovative ideas and practices can be made more effective, adopted more widely, and taken to scale—and as a result move the trillions that are required. Scaling-up proven but limited innovations, is a common

Date: 24-Aug-2015

A variety of interventions can be used to develop national financial systems and provide local access to affordable, long-term finance. This paper considers four key categories of actions: voluntary action; priority sector lending; regulatory or financial incentives as well as direct lending by policy-driven financial institutions. It particularly focuses on the role of policy-driven institutions such

Date: 15-Sep-2014

An efficient and resilient regulatory regime must not only deal competently with the financial system that exists currently; it must also have adaptive capacity to deal competently with the system that is emerging. This working paper examines disruptive innovations and their implications for the design of a green and inclusive financial system. It identifes five trends relevant

Date: 29-Apr-2016

An India Advisory Council of the UNEP India Inquiry was convened by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). This report highlights key proposals emerging from their discussions for aligning the Indian financial system with sustainability. In the Indian context, they call for development of a more robust and resilient ‘sustainability-oriented market framework’ focused

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

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

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

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

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