RCBC backs perks for sustainable financing

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) supports a plan of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to extend regulatory incentives for banks which adopted sustainable and inclusive banking practices.

RCBC president and chief executive officer Eugene Acevedo said the plan of the BSP to extend incentives through a sustainable central banking program would help spur interest in sustainability among local banks.

Acevedo said the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened the bank’s resolve in helping address urgent environmental and social needs such as renewable energy, clean transportation and public health.

“These are needs that meet our sustainable finance framework,” he said.

In a recent presentation to the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), Acevedo said RCBC has been an early adopter of Philippine sustainable and inclusive banking practices, having started the implementation of an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) in 2011.

The ESMS enables RCBC to engage its customers, share best practices and support clients that seek solutions to reduce their impact on the environment and communities.

RCBC’s sustainable and inclusive banking practices are also aligned with the objectives of BSP Circular 1085, which mandates lenders to include environmental and social considerations in their governance frameworks, risk management systems, strategies and operations.

RCBC also supports the BSP’s recent membership with the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), which is expected to benefit the banking industry through best practices in other jurisdictions, particularly in the areas of risk management and stress testing exercises.

“For RCBC, we have a commitment to help promote a low-carbon economy, develop services that respond to the needs of the unbanked and underbanked, and build a resilient balance sheet,” Acevedo said.

As the pandemic underscores the relevance of financial inclusion, RCBC responded by further reaching out to unbanked Filipinos with over two million mobile app downloads of its DiskarTech platform.

The BSP is planning to consider lending for green projects as compliance with Republic Act 1000 or the Agri-Agra Reform Credit Act of 2009 which mandates banks to allocate 25 percent of their loanable funds to farmers and fisherfolk.

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