The Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) adopts the Equator Principles

Stockholm, 21 June 2017

The Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) announces its adoption of the Equator Principles, a globally recognised benchmark for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in bank financed projects. To date, 90 international financial institutions in 37 countries have signed up to the Equator Principles. As an export credit institution, SEK already applies sustainability risk assessments in accordance with the OECD frameworks and other relevant international frameworks for projects and export credits.

 

"The Equator Principles will add a tool in our environmental and social due diligence for projects and export credits that we finance. This will increase the harmonisation between us and the banks and financial institutions that we cooperate with", says SEK Head of Sustainability Johan Henningsson.

 

SEK adopts the Equator Principles on June 21st 2017, and in the first year, in accordance with the Equator Principles, will adjust its activities according to the framework.

 

"We will also be able to take more active part in the discussions about the development of environmental and social assessments within the banking community", says SEK Head of Sustainability Johan Henningsson.

 

Mikael Damberg, Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, representing SEK's owner, says:

 

"SEK has an important role to play in facilitating Swedish company exports. Therefore, I welcome the fact that SEK now adopts the Equator Principles in line with the owner's recommendation. With this, SEK gets a new tool to ensure that there lending meets international requirements. State owned enterprises should set good standards, not least in sustainable business."

 

About the Equator Principles

 

The Equator Principles is a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects. It was developed in 2003 with the objective of ensuring that projects are developed in a socially responsible manner and reflect sound environmental management practices. The third edition of the Equator Principles which went into effect in 2013 extends its application from project finance and advisory services to project-related corporate loans and bridge loans.

 

About SEK

 

The Swedish Export Credit Cooperation (SEK) provides financing for Swedish exports. SEK lends directly to Swedish exporters and helps Swedish exporters to win export business by offering financing to their customers. SEK has a strong international network and extensive experience of international financing. The officially supported export credits system means buyers of Swedish exports can see the total cost of their investment. Moreover, export credit financing can offer buyers extended credit periods. SEK is a long-term partner, wholly owned by the Swedish government and has a mission to ensure access to financial solutions for the Swedish export industry on commercial and sustainable terms. In SEK's environmental and social due diligence, SEK complies with international standards. In 2016, SEK lent a total of Skr 54.8 billion.

 

Announcement in Swedish

 

Announcement in English

 

 

 

 

Japan's Norinchukin Bank adopts the Equator Principles

Tokyo, 01 May 2017

The Norinchukin Bank, one of Japan's largest financial institutions serving agricultural, fishery, and forestry cooperatives, announced its adoption of the Equator Principles, a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects. The Norinchukin Bank becomes the 90th member of the Equator Principles Association.

Announcement in Japanese

Bank of Jiangsu adopts the Equator Principles

Nanjing, 20 January 2017

Bank of Jiangsu has become a signatory of the Equator Principles (EPs), a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risks in projects. It becomes China's first city commercial bank to adopt EPs.

Bank of Jiangsu, a modern joint-stock commercial bank, was founded by merging and reorganizing the ten commercial banks in Jiangsu province including city banks of Wuxi, Suzhou and Nantong, which created a new model of local corporate banking reform. Formally entering service on January 24, 2007, it is the only local provincial corporate bank in Jiangsu.

Bank of Jiangsu, adhering to the mission of “providing high-quality financial service for customers” and guided by the enterprise culture of “Integration, innovation, pragmatism and growth”, always sticks to the development direction of uniqueness, intelligence, internationalization and integration and devotes itself to the construction of a characteristic and first-rate commercial bank with core competition advantage. It has now developed into a modern joint-stock bank boasting strong comprehensive strength and market competitiveness. As of the end of June 2016, it has possessed total assets of 1,563 billion RMB, total deposits of 914.4 billion RMB, and has provided loans of 635.3 billion RMB in total. It has 534 business office in total and 14,000 employees. It also established Suyin Financial Leasing Company and Danyang Baode Rural Bank. On August 2, 2016, its Initial public offering of A shares was successfully listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (stock code: 600919).

The development of Bank of Jiangsu has been widely recognized by all sectors of society. It has been presented the honorary titles of “Outstanding Enterprise in Jiangsu Province” and “The National Banking Financial Institutions Small and Micro-Enterprise Financial Services Advanced Units” by Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee and Jiangsu Provincial Government, and has been rated as “The Most Competitive Small and Micro Banks” by Financial Times. It ranked the 126th among the top 1000 world banks listed by the Banker (a British professional magazine) in 2016. As one of the fastest growing banks in China, it was named as “The Best City Commercial Bank in China” by Global Finance (U.S.).

The adoption of EP demonstrates that Bank of Jiangsu is dedicated to committing to green finance and sustaining energy management industry. It will also contribute to promoting a more eco-friendly civilization, social awareness enhancement and the completion of environmental and social risk management system. From now on, Bank of Jiangsu will regularly submit EP implementation reports as required and publish relevant information through its website.

Announcement in Chinese

Korea Development Bank: The First Korean Bank to Adopt the Equator Principles

Seoul, 02 January 2017

Korea Development Bank (KDB) announced its adoption of the Equator Principles, a globally recognized benchmark for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in bank financed projects. As a first mover in the Korean finance industry to uphold environmental and social safeguards in project financing, KDB sets a standard for domestic institutions in promoting sustainable development and corporate responsibility.

KDB is the first bank headquartered in Korea to adopt the Equator Principles, joining a group of 87 financial institutions worldwide representing over 70 percent of international project finance debt in emerging markets. KDB’s adoption of the Equator Principles reaffirms its commitment towards sustainable finance and demonstrates a substantial progress in integrating international best practices into its fast-growing project financing business.

The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of standards that were developed by leading financial institutions in 2003, under the objective of ensuring that projects are developed in a socially responsible manner and reflect sound environmental management practices. The third edition of the Equator Principles which went into effect in 2013 extends its application from project finance and advisory services to project-related corporate loans and bridge loans.

Over the course of the year, KDB will refine and test its internal policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the Equator Principles. Such efforts are expected to strengthen the institutional risk management capacity and bring KDB closer to its financial partners that have already endorsed the Equator Principles.

About KDB

KDB is a wholly state-owned bank that was founded with the purpose of supplying and managing industrial capital to expedite economic development in the Republic of Korea. As the nation’s leading financial institution, KDB has fostered growth and heightened competitiveness of Korea’s strategic industries by meeting their changing financial needs. KDB covers a variety of financing activities, including investment and corporate banking for promotion of industrial activities and expansion of social infrastructure.

Announcement in Korean

OP Financial Group Adopts the Equator Principles

Helsinki, 16 December 2016

Equator Principles (EP) is a voluntary commitment applied in project finance to manage risks related to environmental issues and social responsibility. The EP has been signed by 87 Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) in 36 countries, representing more than 70% of international project finance debt in emerging markets.

The EP aims to reduce the negative impacts of financed projects on climate, local communities and people. While the EP does not directly restrict a financial institution's participation in projects, it supports the due diligence of projects as well as consideration of social and environmental impacts in the decision-making phase.

Although OP annually participates only in a couple of EP-based project finance cases, committing to key international responsibility frameworks forms an important part of OP's corporate social responsibility actions.

Announcement in Finnish

Bankinter adheres to the Equator Principles initiative

Madrid, 12 December 2016

Bankinter has adhered to the Equator Principles, an international, baseline initiative within the financial sector to assess and manage environmental and social risks in projects that require financing.

These voluntary guidelines apply to project finance transactions for 10 million dollars or more, and to corporate loans for projects costing over 100 million dollars.

Several financial institutions were the driving force behind these principles in a coordinated effort with the International Finance Corporation, a World Bank agency.As of today, 85 financial sector companies worldwide have signed and adopted them.

In adhering to these principles, Bankinter undertakes to report each year on its processes to implement and monitor them in its annual report and on its corporate website.

This initiative falls within the bank's  "3 en Raya" (in English,'Three-in-a-Row') sustainability plan, which aims to align business with the management of financial, social and environmental issues.

Announcement in Spanish

ICO Signs Up To The Equator Principles

Madrid, 26 October 2016

ICO's General Board approved the institution's decision to become a signatory to the Equator Principles at its meeting on Friday 21 October, as part of the framework of commitments in its CSR and environmental policies.

The Principles, which are voluntary but widely recognised internationally, require signatory financial institutions to guarantee that the projects to which they offer financing or advice are undertaken sustainably. A total of 83 financial institutions from 36 countries have signed up to the Principles created in 2003 by the International Finance Corporation (World Bank), including five Spanish banks and European development banks similar to ICO, such as the KfW in Germany. 

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Banco Votorantim Adopts the Equator Principles

São Paulo, 30 June 2016

Banco Votorantim has become signatory of the Equator Principles, a risk management framework, adopted by financial institutions, for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in projects and is primarily intended to provide a minimum standard for due diligence to support responsible risk decision-making. The voluntary decision of Banco Votorantim supports the Social and Environmental Sustainability and Responsibility Policy (PSRSA) that guide its activities and operations. Banco Votorantim is the 5th Brazilian bank to become signatory, representing 85 institutions worldwide.

“In adopting the Equator Principles, Banco Votorantim reaffirms the commitment already demonstrated by establishing ethical, transparent and everlasting relationships that make a difference and add value where we operate, considering the economic, social, environmental and human aspects in our processes and business”, says João Roberto Gonçalves Teixeira, CEO of Banco Votorantim.

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Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) Adopts the Equator Principles

Stockholm, 23 June 2016

Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) has adopted the Equator Principles, a global framework to promote sustainable environmental, social and human rights decision-making in financing projects.

http://www.handelsbanken.se/initiatives

UK Export Finance Adopts the Equator Principles

London, 31 March 2016

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced that it has adopted the Equator Principles, a global framework to promote sustainable environmental, social and human rights decision-making in financing projects.

Louis Taylor, UKEF’s Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the move, saying:

‘In adopting the Equator Principles, UKEF joins export credit agencies and international financial institutions including numerous partner banks with which UKEF works frequently.

‘This global framework will give UK exporters supported by UKEF confidence that environmental, social and human rights issues, that may carry ethical or reputational risk have been given consideration as part of UKEF’s support to relevant projects. In adopting the Equator Principles, we do not anticipate any additional administrative burden to UK exporters applying for export finance support.

‘UKEF becoming an Equator Principles Institution is in line with the UK government’s drive to promote sustainable business practices following the agreement of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN General Assembly last year.’

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