China's best bank for ESG 2022: Bank of China
Bank of China
Bank of China has long been at the forefront of the mainland’s environmental, social and governance ambitions, and its pivotal role in driving the national agenda has gained steam in recent years.
At the senior level, for instance, BoC has set up a dedicated green finance group led by its chairman, Liu Liange. At the management level, BoC has a green finance committee led by the president, aimed at implementing and executing the firm’s green strategy. The bank also has a professional green finance team, staffed with experts on climate-risk management and sustainability.
These efforts are reflected in some of BoC’s ambitious targets and objectives.
It was China’s first systemically important state-owned bank to put together a five-year plan for green finance, focused on supporting green activities of corporates, small and medium-sized enterprises and individuals. It also has in place a landmark coal withdrawal policy, committing to make no new financing for new coal mining or coal-fired projects from the fourth quarter of 2021.
By the end of December 2021, BoC’s financing to brown industries was less than 10% of its domestic corporate credit book. Green lending rose 57% in 2021, with BoC being the largest underwriter and most active green-bond issuer among Chinese commercial banks.