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OCBC Bank (Malaysia) Bhd will continue to champion sustainable transformation moving forward, said its chief executive officer Datuk Ong Eng Bin – in line with the financial industry’s increasing focus on coordinated climate action across environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects, as well as the country’s broader goals in advancing sustainability.
To do so, OCBC Malaysia will gradually expand its suite of responsible financing solutions, diligently invest in talent development for increased sustainability-related proficiency, promote a heightened commitment to staff volunteerism, as well as further incorporate climate-related risk considerations into business decisions for reinforced capital resilience.
“It is our long-held belief that we do well by doing good and these strengthened operational fundamentals will allow the bank to tap into new opportunities, as we help customers build more sustainable businesses in transitioning to a low carbon future,” he said.
The bank will also focus on expanding awareness on sustainability-linked investments to retail customers, as well as providing more of such products and services to small and medium enterprises.,
OCBC Malaysia in late 2021 participated in a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bursa Malaysia to collaborate on an initiative to improve ESG adoption practices among Malaysian public-listed companies (PLCs), by establishing #financing4ESG and developing sustainable financing options that address PLCs’ ESG needs, in accordance with the FTSE4Good assessment criteria.
The MoU builds on the banking group’s global sustainability journey, as it has made good progress in the financing of renewable energy projects following its April 2019 announcement that it will no longer finance new coal-fired power plants.
Besides being a signatory of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures since 2019 and Equator Principles since 2020, the OCBC Group also supports the delivery of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, through the various initiatives tied to the 15 material ESG factors in the OCBC Group Sustainability Strategy.
The strategy includes five pillars, namely putting customers first; building a sustainable future; acting with integrity; valuing its people; and engaging communities.
“In view of these 15 factors, we commit to delivering a ‘Simply Spot On’ banking experience for our customers – providing innovative sustainable financing and investing solutions, actively managing our environmental footprint, exercising prudent good governance, continually empowering our employees, and dutifully contributing to our surrounding communities,” said Ong.
At the end of 2021, the OCBC Group achieved more than S$34bil in sustainable financing commitment, surpassing the revised target of S$25bil by 2025. Accordingly, the goal has been raised higher to S$50bil, also by 2025.