Malaysia's best bank for ESG 2023: AmBank
AmBank Group in Malaysia has been rigorous in its approach to environmental, social and governance financing since implementing its 2021 to 2024 group-wide strategy to better integrate ESG into its business. That mission has grown in importance over the past year.
The bank appointed Amanah Aboobucker, who previously worked in its compliance advisory team, as the firm’s first chief sustainability officer in June 2023. Together with AmBank Islamic chief executive Eqhwan Mokhzanee Muhammad, who oversees the bank’s overall ESG agenda, the group has made good progress in this segment.
AmBank breaks down the concept of ESG into three themes: responsible banking, internal self-conduct, and making a positive impact on society. It also has an internal sustainability framework that marries its own core values and principles with the United Nations’ Sustainability Development Goals and the value-based intermediation principles.
What this means in practice is that AmBank’s top executives have ESG key performance indicators while each business line also has ESG-focused KPIs. When it comes to lending, borrowers must meet AmBank’s credit and ESG criteria.
The group has a list of businesses and activities that are excluded from new financing, such as coal-fired power plants, firms with a questionable human rights track record, and weapons production, and has strict limits in place covering its portfolio exposure to sectors including alcohol and gambling.