Standard Bank becomes first African bank to chair Equator Principles Association

1 June 2015, Johannesburg

Standard Bank has been appointed the new chair of the Equator Principles Association for 2015/16, making it the first African Bank to be elected to this position.

The appointment, which takes effect on the 1 June 2015, comes at a critical juncture in the integration of environmental and social considerations within business as a component of responsible investing.

Standard Bank’s Executive & Head of Environmental and Social Advisory within Investment Banking, Nigel Beck, will be the bank’s lead representative and chair. Mr Beck says that while the world is aware there is a need for change, there is not a meeting of the minds on how this is to be achieved.

The Equator Principles (EP) is a step in this direction requiring project financing, advisory and project related corporate loans to meet consistent international standards from an environmental and social perspective. This is partially the reason the major drivers of global environmental, social and climate change is coming from the 80 Equator Principles Financial Institutions in 35 countries who have officially adopted the EP. These Financial Institutions cover the majority of international project finance debt within developed and emerging markets.

EP III is already in force and became mandatory for all new transactions (where the mandate was signed after 31 December 2013) from 1 January 2014. Mr Beck says Standard Bank will continue to focus on EP III implementation in conjunction with our clients across the continent. EP III extends the scope of the Principles beyond pure project finance and advisory, to project related corporate loans and bridge loans with the inclusion of additional focus on aspects such as greenhouse gas emissions at a project level.

The EP fits within Standard Bank’s strategy of funding environmentally and socially responsible business in South Africa and on the African continent, as well as partnering in the continent’s development. The Principles enhance transactions throughout the lifecycle, including advisory and arranging, resulting in better structured debt improved syndication and distribution. Standard Bank has been an active and engaged member of the EP Association since its adoption of the EP in 2009 and subsequent election to the Steering Committee in 2010. The EP Association is managed by an elected steering committee of 15 global banks, with Standard Bank the only African representative.

Standard Bank’s commitment to integrating environmental and social responsibility into its global business operations has been particularly evident in the past few years and its efforts have received significant external recognition. This includes being recognised by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange SRI as the only company to have been consistently in the best performer category in the past 8 years and ranked in the top twenty Greenest Banks globally by the Bloomberg Markets Magazine Greenest Bank rankings. Standard Bank was also awarded ‘Sustainable Bank of the Year 2013’ for the Africa/Middle East region in the FT/IFC Sustainable Finance Awards and achieved a position on the global “A list” of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Climate Performance Leadership Index.

We look forward to working with all Equator Principles Financial Institutions to ensure we remain focused on lending responsibly, enhance business opportunities and supporting the way in which we conduct our business with our customers across emerging and established markets,” says Mr Beck.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

About Standard Bank Group

Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Standard Bank has a 153-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.

Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses provide significant opportunities for growth.

The group has nearly 49 000 employees and over 1 200 branches, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.  Standard Bank's Corporate & Investment Banking division offers its clients banking, trading, investment, risk management and advisory services to connect selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other. It has strong offerings in mining and metals; oil, gas and renewables; power and infrastructure; agribusiness; telecommunications and media; and financial institutions.

Headline earnings from continuing operations for 2014 were R21 billion (about USD 1.9 billion) and total assets were R1 907 billion (about USD 165 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2014 was R232,2 billion (about USD20 billion).

The group’s largest shareholder is Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.

For further information go to www.standardbank.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ross Linstrom

Standard Bank Media Relations

Email: JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

Mobile:  +27 (0)83 262 1882

Or

Hayley Crane

Standard Bank Media Relations

Email: JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING

Mobile:  +27 (0) 83 795 7422