Green bank of the year 2020
Industrial Bank has become the leading green finance bank in China’s domestic market.
The numbers speak for themselves. By the end of 2019, Industrial Bank had 14,764 green finance corporate clients and a Rmb1.01 trillion ($142 billion) outstanding green financing portfolio. It has managed to achieve a compound annual growth rate of more than 30% for both the number of green clients and its green financing portfolio since 2016.
The portfolio includes loans, bonds and equity investments.
The numbers bely the relatively small size of the bank. Consider that Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the largest bank in the world, had a Rmb1.35 trillion green financing portfolio by the end of 2019. Industrial Bank, whose balance sheet is just under a quarter of the size of that at ICBC, is clearly punching above its weight.
Industrial Bank is also the largest green bond issuer in China. By 2019, the bank had sold Rmb130 billion of green bonds onshore and a dual-currency green bond offshore.
These achievements are the result of the bank’s continued dedication to China’s green finance industry.
Led by vice-president Chen Xinjian, Industrial Bank was the first onshore bank to sign up to the Equator Principles in 2008. It was China’s first ever issuer of a green financial bond, introduced the first green investment product and even launched the first low-carbon credit card.
It had roughly 200 green finance specialists at the end of 2019.
Given its rich experience in the market, Industrial Bank is regularly called upon by Chinese top regulators, including the People’s Bank of China and the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, to help draft key green finance policies. Index provider MSCI updated the ESG rating of Industrial Bank from triple-B in 2018 to A in 2019.
Industrial Bank serves as an example for its peers that green finance does not just need to be advanced by the country’s biggest banks; smaller, pluckier banks can do just as much to make green finance work for their bottom line – and the world.