Our Commitment


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Responsible Banking Services

Lending and Investment Policies
Our financing decisions reflect our business principles, risk assessment processes and the needs of our customers.

Our credit evaluation process includes assessment of any potential environmental or socially sensitive-related risks. Measures to enable us to monitor the implementation of and compliance with environmental and social requirements by our clients are included in our financing agreement credit assessment process. In cases of material deviation from the required standards, we will work with the customer to establish a target date for compliance. Where no progress is made or in instances of a serious breach, we will exit the relationship.

For environmental risk-related matters, we follow the sustainability risk requirements laid down in the Bank's Corporate Lending Guidelines and FAQ on sustainability risk policies. We have adopted the Equator Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines which define a process for implementing common sustainability standards in project finance. We also have specific guidelines on lending to businesses operating in environmentally sensitive sectors such as chemicals, energy, forestry, freshwater infrastructure, mining and minerals, agricultural commodities, and World Heritage Sites and Ramsar wetlands, and these are refined and updated as required. For instance, 100% certification is required for borrowers in forestry industry falling under the refined policy by Forest Stewardship Council U.S. (FSC) or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) by December 2014. For palm oil, 100% Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification is required by 2018. We also have a Defence Equipment Policy which clarifies the Bank's approach to companies involved with weapons. The Bank will disseminate updates to environment or social risk-related policies to all relevant parties on a timely basis. The latest versions of the policies and guidelines can be accessed by relevant colleagues through the Bank's intranet at any time. The Bank also provided Sustainability Risk Seminar to increase colleagues' awareness. Training programmes for environmental and social policies are in place, including as part of our New Joiners Programme, to improve staff competency in implementing these policies and procedures as applied to our various business lines.

Environment-related impact assessments are a continuous process and have been incorporated into our standard credit evaluation process, e.g. the Sustainability Risk Rating for credit approval from time to time. Regular tracking reports are compiled by the Risk and Compliance Policy team with input from business units. For customers that are not able to comply with our environment policies and requirements by our specified deadline, temporary exemptions or time extensions must be applied for and approved. Failing this, our relationship managers will begin arrangements to exit the relationship. Regular dialogue is maintained between our Risk and Compliance team and middle-office operations of the Bank's business units.

Responsible Financing
Our belief in promoting sustainable business practices means that we carefully assess potential environmental and social risks when deciding to make a loan or investment. The Bank has specific sustainability risk policies that deal with sensitive sectors such as forestry, agriculture, mining, energy, property and infrastructure development, and mechanisms to ensure our customers remain in compliance with these policies.
Forest Land and Forestry Products Sector
Outlines how we will work with our customers to promote sustainable forestry practices.
Agricultural Commodities Sector
Requires us to undertake special assessments of customers involved with soy, cattle ranching or rubberwood in certain high-risk countries.
Freshwater Infrastructure Sector
Aims to ensure the consistency of our involvement in freshwater infrastructure projects, particularly from the standpoint of sustainable development.
Chemical Industry Sector
Highlights the international, regional and national standards we conform to when lending to the chemical industry and outlines how we will work with our customers towards sustainable chemical manufacture.
Energy Sector
Establishes sustainability standards for our involvement in this sector and for providing financial services to energy sector projects.
Mining and Metals Sector
Sets out the principles and standards that govern our involvement in all areas of this sector, including exploration, extraction, mine closure and reclamation, and primary processing.
Defence Equipment Sector
Establishes our position with regard to companies involved in the manufacture and sale of weapons.
World Heritages Sites and Ramsar Wetlands
Aims to ensure we avoid supporting projects that may damage these sensitive areas.
Training programmes for environmental and social policies are in place, including as part of our New Joiners Programme, to improve staff competency in implementing these policies and procedures as applied to our various business lines.

Contact Us

Thank you for reading our Corporate Sustainability Report 2014. Your comments and suggestions play an important part in our efforts to continually improve our performance. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a few minutes to complete our feedback form.

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