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RCBCâs sustainable lending portfolio increases to P52 billion
Eugene Acevedo, president and chief executive officer at RCBC, said the bank continues to heed the call of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the banking sector to pursue green and sustainable finance, particularly in environmental, social and governance field.
Businessworld, file

RCBC’s sustainable lending portfolio increases to P52 billion

Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) augmented its sustainable lending portfolio to P52.16 billion last year as the country started to recover from the pandemic-induced recession.

Eugene Acevedo, president and chief executive officer at RCBC, said the bank continues to heed the call of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for the banking sector to pursue green and sustainable finance, particularly in environmental, social and governance (ESG) field.

“As the economy gradually rises from the ruins of the pandemic, RCBC will be a strong partner in support of the BSP, not just in rebuilding, but in championing the ESG agenda and sustainable practices,” Acevedo said.

RCBC’s sustainable lending portfolio last year was slightly higher than the P51.74 billion booked in 2019.

Broken down, the bank’s sustainable lending portfolio consisted of 15 green projects worth P32.722 billion and 9,947 eligible social projects valued at P19.432 billion.

Under the bank’s eligible green portfolio, renewable energy (RE) has the biggest share at 61 percent, followed by clean transportation and energy efficiency activities each with 18 percent, and three percent for sustainable water management projects.

On the other hand, affordable housing projects comprised 36 percent of the bank’s total eligible social portfolio, followed by employment generation (32 percent), access to essential services (24 percent), and socioeconomic advancement and empowerment (eight percent).

In terms of impact, RCBC helped finance eligible RE assets that generated over 10,000 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2020, translating to approximately 8.3 million tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions compared to coal power.

It also helped fund a rail transportation project that benefited more than 40 million passengers last year as well as an infrastructure for clean water and wastewater treatment that supplied 10.1 million cubic meters of water to nearly 2,000 households.

The bank also supported hospitals resulting in the treatment of 1.26 million patients, funded schools providing education for 148,514 students, and supported cooperatives assisting 200,000 clients.

RCBC also funded small and medium enterprises (SMEs) severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic translating to 802 loans and supported affordable housing resulting to the financing of 9,117 affordable houses.

The country’s eighth largest lender in terms of assets continues to issue sustainability bonds to refinance a combination of green and social projects.

In 2019, RCBC issued P8 billion worth of sustainability bonds scheduled to mature in June this year and another $300 million due in September 2024.

Last month, the bank also issued a P17.8 billion ASEAN sustainability bond to refinance green and social projects.

Late last year, RCBC said it would no longer finance new coal-fired power projects in the Philippines, in support of the plan of the Department of Energy (DOE) to increase the country’s share of renewable energy as power source to 43 percent by 2040.

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