DBS Bank raises sustainable finance target to SGD50 billion by 2024
Bolsters efforts to help customers embrace sustainability
The new commitment reinforces DBS’ efforts in responsible banking which is a key pillar of the bank’s approach to sustainability. It also stems from more companies seeking to advance their corporate sustainability agenda through sustainable financing, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic puts sustainability in the spotlight.
Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Institutional Banking, DBS, said that this “never normal” world has become an opportunity for companies to see how they can tackle an expanding range of environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges, as well as integrate the social and sustainability agenda into their corporate strategy and business practices.
“We thought our earlier target of SGD20 billion for renewable and other green financing would be a stretch and were greatly heartened at the level of customer interest in moving from business-as-usual mode to adopting sustainability in their strategies. Since Covid-19 hit, many companies have actually doubled down on their ESG commitments and we saw a marked increase in the number of corporate interest in sustainable financing,” she added.
DBS continues to see a good mix of sustainable financing deals across the markets it operates in, and across sectors. The green loan market continues to be dominated by borrowers in the real estate sector, but the bank is now involved in others such as financing renewable energy equipment makers and electric vehicle battery plants.
To encourage more companies from key industries to transition to a low-carbon economy, DBS is the first Singapore bank to offer transition financing to companies that want to take incremental steps towards reducing carbon footprint. It is the first commercial bank to publish a Sustainable and Transition Finance Framework and Taxonomy, which serves as a reference to guide clients to adapt and build resilience in the face of climate change, resource scarcity and address critical global issues such as income inequality.
Tan added that increasingly, stakeholders also want to understand and measure the value companies create beyond profits and ESG considerations are very much at the forefront now.
“To remain relevant, companies will need to balance profits with meeting the needs of society. At DBS, being purpose-driven is in our DNA. We want to do our part to help address key areas of environmental and social concerns and support Singapore in its ambition to be a green finance hub,” she said.
Since 2018, DBS has concluded over 100 sustainable financing deals worth about SGD 17 billion. For full year 2020, the bank ranked first in Bloomberg’s Global and APAC League Tables for ‘Green Loan Principles Loans’, and APAC (ex Japan) League Table for ‘Green Use of Proceeds Loans’ for its role as Mandated Lead Arranger.
In capital markets, landmark sustainable and green financing transactions done by DBS in 2020 include the USD1.11bn dual-tranche green project bond by Star Energy Geothermal, PSA Marine’s three-year EUR 30 million equivalent sustainability-linked loan and the EUR500m Korea Housing Finance Corporation Covid-19 social bond.
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.
Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney, “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 12 consecutive years from 2009 to 2020.
DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.
With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 29,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.