Lending responsibly

Considering environmental factors when we lend money

When relevant, we take environmental factors into account when we lend money to companies, in particular by requiring those in higher-risk sectors to have a clear strategy for addressing their contribution to climate change. Our industry-specific policies and principles all have a separate sustainability section, including environment and climate change.

In those sectors where climate change is likely to have a major impact, we require companies to demonstrate their ability to adapt to current and future regulatory changes.

In the long term, we believe these strategies will encourage certain industries to adapt by changing their focus, developing new technologies and intensifying the way they work with their suppliers and technical managers.

Tools to help us integrate ESG into lending decisions

We have created – and continue to develop – in-house Environmental, Social and Political Risk Assessment tools, which are aimed at ensuring a more holistic approach to considering ESG matters in our lending decisions. 

In Retail Banking, we now incorporate ESG analyses as part of the Know Your Customer process, focusing our efforts on potentially higher-risk cases. In Wholesale Banking, we have continued developing a new interactive customer ESG analysis tool, which fine-tunes the analysis with industry specific questions. 

In 2015, we will establish the finalised tool on an IT platform and further integrate the analysis and findings into the relationship management and credit process, as well as overall decision-making.