YUCHENGCO-led Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) has bagged the ESG Gold award from the Hong Kong-based Asset Publishing and Research Ltd. (APRL).
During the publication’s “ESG Corporate Awards 2021” held last month, RCBC was included among those recognized with the ESG Gold Award. The said award gives citation on companies that exert effort on its leadership in the environmental, social and governance space.
“Through the bank’s digital strategy, RCBC was able to maintain customer engagement during the pandemic, particularly supporting SMEs [small and medium enterprises] as they transitioned towards online banking. The bank has a robust sustainable finance framework already embedded in RCBC’s risk management systems,” said ARPL’s awarding platform “The Asset” magazine.
“The Asset” also noted how RCBC’s bond issuance was the first ASEAN sustainability bond issuance out of the Philippines last year and the only peso-denominated sustainability bond printed in 2021.
For two decades, ARPL’s magazine’s benchmark research has been analyzing how transparently and ethically Asian corporates are run and how they choose to contribute to broader society.
In the Philippines, RCBC is one of the major banks leading the efforts toward sustainability. In December 2020, RCBC announced that it will no longer extend financing to new coal-fired power projects. The bank has continued to integrate international guidelines and best ESG practice in its risk management systems.
RCBC, for instance, subscribes to International Finance Corp.’s performance standards for identifying and managing environmental and social risks. The bank’s own sustainable finance framework, on the other hand, is aligned with the requirements of global bond principles.
As of 2020, RCBC’s eligible sustainable portfolio accounted for approximately 10 percent of its total loan portfolio. The impact of the portfolio was manifested through 9,962 projects, of which 802 were accounted for by loans supporting employment generation through small and medium-sized businesses.
Last month, the Yuchengco-led lender was awarded for the ASEAN sustainability bond issuance it made last year, which helped the bank raise as much as P17.87 billion.
RCBC was also awarded the Best Sustainability Bond in 2021 from ARPL’s “The Asset” 2021 Country Awards.