DBS to Adopt the Equator Principles

Published 

Singapore – As part of its ongoing efforts in promoting responsible financing, DBS has become the first bank in Singapore and South East Asia to adopt the Equator Principles.

The Equator Principles (EPs) is a globally recognised risk management framework adopted by financial institutions for determining, assessing and managing environment and social risk in development projects. The EPs also outline environmental and social standards for large scale developments and is based on the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards published by the World Bank Group.

DBS’ adoption of the EPs would mean that the bank will go the extra mile in disclosing information related to large-scale developments that it is involved in. Currently, the bank already adheres to due diligence processes in accordance to IFC’s Performance Standards when assessing large project financing deals.

Tan Su Shan, Group Head of Institutional Banking Group, DBS said, “We are proud to be the first bank in Singapore and Southeast Asia to be a signatory of the Equator Principles. We believe that the region will see significant infrastructure development over the next few years and financing will play a central role. As that happens, we acknowledge the importance of incorporating environmental and societal considerations into our lending decisions, and to managing our business in a balanced and responsible way, contributing to a more sustainable future.”

DBS believes that Singapore’s position as a global financial centre and legal hub will also help create an inclusive environment to facilitate infrastructure projects.

“The Principles thrive on being singularly focused on avoiding and mitigating impacts arising from asset-level financing. In line with Singapore’s ambition to be a hub for infrastructure finance, DBS will make good use of this robust environmental and social due diligence guide,” Tan added.

Over the years, DBS has been focused on advancing the sustainability agenda with an approach based on three pillars: responsible banking, responsible business practices and creating social impact.

In the area of responsible financing, this year, the Bank is expected to close more than SGD 4 billion of sustainable finance transactions comprising green loans, sustainability performance-linked loans and renewable energy financing. New milestones for sustainability-linked loans were also established across the region:

  • Inked Singapore’s first sustainability-linked loan for an SME with leading egg producer Chew’s Agriculture.
  • Signed first-of-its-kind SDG Innovation Loan with City Developments to accelerate innovative solutions that have a positive impact on SDGs.
  • Signed Taiwan’s first sustainability-linked loan with AU Optronics. The loan is also the first of its kind for an IT company in Asia Pacific.
  • Mandated Lead Arranger for the financing of three offshore wind farms in Taiwan worth SGD 8.5 billion equivalent. These wind farms will have a total installed capacity of 1.1GW and will supply clean energy to more than 900,000 Taiwanese.
  • Advised and led the financing of Vena Energy’s 70MW ground mounted solar structure, Taiwan’s largest-to-date.

Responsible banking practices encompass the bank’s commitment to include environmental and societal considerations in its day-to-day business operations. These include practices to minimise its environmental footprint, as well as support employees by embracing gender diversity and providing equal opportunity.

On the social impact front, DBS recently launched the second season of its award-winning mini-series Sparks to shed light on some of the most pressing social and environmental issues of the day. The episodes were inspired by the stories of social enterprises supported by DBS Foundation, which has nurtured over 300 social enterprises and awarded over 100 social enterprises in Asia with more than SGD 4.7 million in grant funding.

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