What they said
Md Arfan Ali
President & MD,
Bank Asia Limited
Since its inception, Bank Asia has been committed towards a safe, clean and green environment. Our Green Banking activities cover multidimensional areas that include both in-house and external green activities and finance towards supporting the Green Economy. To maintain our commitment for a green environment, we will continue emphasising on financing projects related to renewable energy, energy and resource efficiency, alternative energy, waste management, recycling and manufacturing of recyclable goods, environment-friendly establishments and so on. The government may take initiatives to provide more low-cost funds through refinance schemes to promote green and sustainable finance. In addition, the government should take a comprehensive policy in line with the SDGs and NDGs to bar wilful defaulters and environment polluting entities from bank finance.
Selim R.F. Hussain
MD & CEO, BRAC Bank Limited
We are working towards achieving carbon neutrality as we have a climate change commitment to fulfil as a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. We are also bringing innovative financing tools with our development partners for green entrepreneurs to flourish, especially for the climate vulnerable and marginal people. Also, we have already adopted the "leave no one behind" approach for our future corporate social responsibility activities. Overall, our holistic, socially responsible banking approach will enable us to unlock the real potential of broader sustainability avenues and work for the people, planet and prosperity in future. We believe more public-private partnerships involving government institutions and banks can play a pivotal role in enhancing our sustainability portfolio.
MD & CEO, City Bank Limited
City Bank's sustainability goals are aligned with UN SDGs. Transformation from conventional loan application and disbursement process to the paperless AI driven digital loan cuts GHG emission. For going Green, we made a draft of 5-years plan having 6 goals including carbon emission reduction plan. Hence, we recently joined the United Nations Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). To promote sustainability in trade finance, we are doing a pilot program with ADB to develop an Environmental and Social Management Systems (ESMS) policy for trade finance. We introduced a dedicated sustainable finance helpdesk in 32 branches across Bangladesh.
Capital requirements for bank loans can be reduced, and tarrif & tax benefits can be given to low-carbon manufacturing entities.
Ali Reza Iftekhar
MD & CEO, Eastern Bank Limited
As a bank, we have integrated sustainability parameters in everything that we do, from credit management to everyday corporate culture. In 2021, we disbursed a total of Tk 3,562 crore in loans for projects keeping in mind environmental and social vulnerabilities. This is 21 per cent of our total lending last year. Moreover, the risk factor in sustainable financing is much less than the risk in conventional financing. As a lender, our future plan is to attach greater attention and importance to sustainable finance and green finance, and discourage irresponsible business practices that pose adverse impacts on environmental and social sustainability of the country and by extension, our planet.
M Kamal Hossain
MD, Southeast Bank Limited
Southeast Bank is one of the pioneers of Green Finance in Bangladesh. Our Bank has financed sustainable/green businesses by utilising its own resources as well as refinance schemes of Bangladesh Bank. It is worth mentioning that we have also financed a significant number of LEED certified green projects. We will gear up our efforts to include disadvantaged and vulnerable groups of society in the mainstream. Our CSR activities follow transparent business practices that are based on ethical values and are compliant with legal and regulatory requirements. The government may provide investment grants for both the participating financial institutions and end-borrowers as an incentive. Moreover, implementing a policy to rebate tax and VAT for end-borrowers will encourage them to participate in these projects.
Mamoon Mahmood Shah
MD & CEO,
NRB Bank Limited
NRB Bank plans to support customers in the transition to a low carbon future and more sustainable ways of doing business. It is now the right time to make a transition from the "regulatory approach" to a "collaborative approach" for giving the right kind of push to sustainable finance. The adoption of a set of Sustainable Finance principles by the central bank and associations of bankers and banks might be useful in initiating the collaborative approach. Areas like waste management, bio-diversity, forestation, climate tolerant products and green transportation should get due importance. Appropriate use of the Climate Risk Fund considering risk premium might be an upcoming agenda. However, the cluster financing approach could be an alternative channel for effective small and micro enterprise financing.
Dr. Mohammed Haider Ali Miah
MD & CEO,
Exim Bank Limited
In 2020, Bangladesh Bank made the policy regarding sustainable financing and ever since then, we have started to finance this sector according to that policy. In the case of such financing, the customer's capacity is taken into special consideration. We are also now giving utmost importance to financing environment friendly industries and the agriculture sector. Our position is second among banks in the country in terms of financing social responsibility, or CSR sector. In terms of financing the agricultural sector, we give special importance to import-substitute agricultural products, including biogas, corn cultivation and spice cultivation. Apart from this, new emphasis is being given to automation. Hopefully, these initiatives will keep us ahead in the sustainable rating in the future as well.
Mohammed Monirul Moula
MD & CEO, Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited
IBBL will continue its effort to make investments in such enterprises that will benefit mass people instead of serving a few. Being a responsible corporate citizen, CSR is the built into the mechanism of IBBL. We are also moving towards digital transformation to reduce carbon emissions. Financial inclusion through bringing unbanked people under the banking net shall remain our top priority in days to come. The government may consider a partial tax waiver against income generated from the disbursement of Green Finance. Incentives may also be given to banks to reduce paper, water and electricity consumption. Above all, the government should take strong measures against wilful defaulters to ensure discipline in the banking sector.
Safiul Alam Khan Chowdhury
MD & CEO,
Pubali Bank Limited
Bangladesh Bank's rating is based on five indicators: Sustainable Finance, Green Refinance, Corporate Social Responsibility activities (CSR), core banking sustainability and banking service coverage. In each of these indicators, Pubali Bank's position is strong. We have increased our loan disbursement to eco-friendly industries, women entrepreneurship, and the agriculture and SME sectors. We intend for our banks to avoid banking activities that harm the environment. In 2021, Pubali Bank financed Tk 278 crore and Tk 1,945 crore respectively in environment-friendly and sustainable projects. A reduction of corporate tax and provisions against sustainable finance may provide positive support for the banking industry and so, Bangladesh Bank could come forward in this respect.