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IFC Launches Sustainable Banking Network for Regulators to Share Green-Credit Expertise

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the Sustainable Banking Network to help bank regulators in emerging markets develop green-credit policies and environmental and social risk-management guidelines by sharing knowledge and technical resources.  

The network, led by IFC, is an informal group of bank regulators and banking associations. It will support members in their efforts to develop standards, policies and guidelines for environmental and social best practices in their countries' banking sectors. It was established in response to requests from several countries attending the first International Green Credit Forum in Beijing in May 2012 who asked IFC to help build a network of regulators who could share insights and experience.

"Environmentally and socially sustainable banking protects banks' assets, and presents business opportunities by opening up new financial product areas and markets," said Karin Finkelston, IFC Vice President for Asia Pacific. "Bank regulators play a key role in guiding the private sector in capitalizing on these business opportunities while ensuring societies' sustainable development. IFC takes a leadership role in supporting the network to help build capacity and partnerships for improved implementation of environmental and social standards." 

The initial exchange of ideas will take place on IFC's member-only web platform, followed by annual meetings hosted by each member country and bi-lateral exchanges between member countries. To date, the network has members from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru, Thailand and Vietnam.

Several network members attended IFC's Performance Standards Community of Learning Forum in Washington, D.C., this week. The event sought to help financial institutions strengthen their environmental and social risk-management systems, build partnerships, and scale up sustainable banking.

"Green policies are essential for sustainable growth and in this regard the financial sector can be the catalyst in driving responsible practices and strategies for the companies it lends to. This is especially the case in China where we have taken significant steps in developing policy guidance and encouraging banking institutions to adopt best practices for environmental and social risk mitigation and green lending," said Ye Yanfei, Deputy Director General of the Statistics Department, China Banking Regulatory Commission.

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