BIBM Awards 15 Banks, NBFIs for Sustainable Finance
On Sunday, the Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) awarded 10 banks and 5 non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) for their best performance in sustainable finance.
Bank Asia, Brac Bank, Dutch-Bangla Bank, Eastern Bank, Exim Bank, Islami Bank Bangladesh, NRB Bank, Pubali Bank, Southeast Bank, and City Bank received the honour in the bank category, and Agrani SME Financing, Bangladesh Finance and Investment, Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund, IDLC Finance, and IPDC in the NBFI category.
The awards were handed over at the 9th annual banking conference of the BIBM at its premises in the capital. Some 30 research papers were presented at the two-day event that started on Saturday.
In Sunday's first session, International Centre for Climate Change and Development Director Saleemul Huq, Bangladesh Bank Sustainable Finance Department Director Khondkar Morshed Millat, Principal Advisor to ICICF Project of GIZ Bangladesh Firdaus Ara Hussain, Economic Relations Division Deputy Secretary SM Mahbub Alam, and Business Initiative Leading Development CEO Ferdaus-Ara-Begum took part as panellists.
"Banks and financial institutions have specific targets for financing sustainable and green projects with their 68 products," Morshed Millat told the session titled "Mobilising Climate-Smart Investment for Sustainability in the Banking Sector".
He further added that although the climate change issue is not directly included in the sustainable cases, they are now thinking about sustainable climate change policy.
"If we look at the climate-related fund allocation of the government, we see that 25 ministries together got 6.81% of the total budget in FY20," said Firdaus Ara Hussain.
Later, the allocation touched 7% in FY2021 and 8% in FY2023, she added, saying, "This trend proves that the Bangladesh government has increased the budget allocation to deal with climate change."
Ferdaus Ara believes Bangladesh's private sector can contribute mainly to sustainable finance.
"It is difficult for the banking sector alone to finance sustainable projects with limited resources. Therefore, a large part of our finance should come from global donors who are committed to climate finance," Shah Md Ahsan Habib, chairman of the organising committee for the 9th banking conference.
Participating in the event, BIBM Director General Akhtaruzzaman said:
"We [Bangladesh] are ranked seventh in terms of environmental risk, which means we are in a much more vulnerable position. That's why we need to work on climate-smart investments."
Later, in the evening, the two-day annual banking conference ended with the closing remarks of Ahmed Jamal, chairman of the BIBM Executive Committee and deputy governor of the central bank.
"The Central Bank has promoted the establishment of environmentally benign projects like renewable energy generation, application of energy-efficient technologies, installation of effluent-treatment plants, etc," he said.
Bangladesh Bank is also focusing on the full digitisation of its banking operations. All of these are aimed at building a viable, dynamic, and efficient financial infrastructure that would ensure financial stability and lead the nation to achieve its sustainable development goal and economic freedom, he added.
Source: The Business Standard