Sustainable Banking Network
Since 2015, all Mongolian banks have committed to the Mongolian Sustainable Finance Principles, which include helping to preserve nomadic culture in accordance with the principle of protecting cultural heritage. © David Baxendale/Creative Commons
The Sustainable Banking Network (SBN) is a unique community of financial sector regulatory agencies and banking associations from emerging markets committed to advancing sustainable finance in line with international good practice. The Network facilitates the collective learning of members and supports them in policy development and related initiatives to create drivers for sustainable finance in their home countries.
The idea for the SBN arose during the first International Green Credit Forum, hosted by IFC and the China Banking Regulatory Commission, in Beijing in May 2012, where banking regulators and associations from 10 countries requested that IFC facilitate a global knowledge network on sustainable banking. The Network was formally launched in September 2012.
The Network is entirely voluntary, and participating regulators and banking associations have the freedom to get involved in ways that best help them meet their goals. A defining characteristic of the SBN is the practicality and openness with which members are collaborating to share knowledge. SBN Introductory Video [VIDEO]
Op-ed: Environmental, Social and Governance Risk Management to Build Stable Financial Systems [LINK]
SBN in the News: "E&S Assessment Manual Pushes Sustainable Finance," Vietnam Investment Review [LINK]
Fiji Joins SBN [LINK]
Philippines' Central Bank (BSP) and IFC to Strengthen Corporate, Environmental and Social Governance in the Banking Sector [PRESS COVERAGE]
Sustainable Banking Policies, Guidelines and Principles
As capital providers, banks are ideally placed to help the private sector adapt to new economic realities linked to environmental and social (E&S) sustainability – such as climate change, changing communities, and increased resource scarcity – and to contribute to national sustainable development agendas. However, for banks to effectively integrate new practices in E&S risk management and green and inclusive lending, they require an enabling regulatory context that ensures a level playing field and provides the right economic incentives.
With this in mind, a growing number of emerging market banking regulators have started to team up with partner agencies to pioneer the development of regulatory guidance that encourages local banks to adopt sustainable banking practices. This includes more effective management of E&S risks in the projects they finance and support for businesses that are greener, climate friendly and socially inclusive.
To date, 12 countries have launched national policies, guidelines, principles, or roadmaps focused on sustainable banking. They include Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru, Turkey and Vietnam. The SBN gives the institutions that are working on these initiatives a space to exchange experience, gain knowledge, and collectively drive the agenda of sustainable banking forward.
The annual SBN meetings, implemented since 2012, are the principal space for dialogue, networking and knowledge generation. These conferences are hosted by a different member country each time and have been implemented in cooperation with the IFC. Members are also invited to participate in IFC-hosted dialogue events and expert groups, such as the annual Performance Standards Community of Learning gathering for financial institutions that have adopted the Equator Principles. These events provide the opportunity for dialogue with leading commercial banks worldwide, which plays a crucial role in the development of regulatory guidance.
Partners and Donors
Partners and donors that are supporting the SBN and its activities include the government of China through the Ministry of Finance, the government of Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the government of UK through the Department for International Department (DfID).
Government of Switzerland through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Department for International Department (DfID), United Kingdom
Government of the People's Republic of China through the Ministry of Finance
IFC and the Latin American Banking Federation (Felaban) have partnered to promote sustainable finance in the region and assist banks with identifying business opportunities related to sustainability. The MoU was signed on March 15 in Mexico, during the Annual Governors Council and will bring Felaban into the SBN as a regional stakeholder to facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity building across Latin America.
Felaban is a non-profit institution established in 1965. Through its respective associations in 19 countries on the continent, it brings together more than 623 banks and financial institutions in Latin America.