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CIMB, 130 banks subscribe to UN Principles for Responsible Banking

Sep 23. 2019
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By THE NATION

CIMB Group Holdings has become one of the founding signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking, committing to strategically align its business with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

As a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking, CIMB joins a coalition of 130 banks worldwide, representing more than US$47 trillion (Bt1.42 quadrillion) in assets, committed to play a crucial role in achieving a sustainable future. 

Taking place at the start of the UN General Assembly on September 22, the official launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking marked the beginning of the most significant partnership to date between the global banking industry and the UN. 

“The UN Principles for Responsible Banking are a guide for the global banking industry to respond to, drive and benefit from a sustainable development economy. The principles create accountability that can realise responsibility, and the ambition that can drive action,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the launch event, attended by the 130 founding signatories and more than 45 of their CEOs. 

“As a founding member of the UNEP-FI Principles for Responsible Banking, we are convinced that only in an inclusive society, founded on human dignity, equality and the sustainable use of natural resources, can our employees, customers and other stakeholders thrive,” said Zafrul Aziz, Group CEO, CIMB. “By signing the principles, we commit to using our products, services and relationships to support and accelerate the fundamental changes in our economies and lifestyles necessary to achieve shared prosperity for both current and future generations.”

Inger Andersen, executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), commented: “A banking industry that plans for the risks associated with climate change and other environmental challenges can not only drive the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies, it can also benefit from it. When the financial system shifts its capital away from resource-hungry, brown investments to those that back nature as a solution, everybody wins in the long term.” 

The Principles for Responsible Banking are supported by a strong implementation and accountability framework. By signing them, CIMB commits to being transparent on both its positive and negative impact on people and the planet, the group said. 

The principles will also provide CIMB with an effective framework to systematically identify and seize new business opportunities created by the emerging sustainable development economy, while at the same time enabling the bank to effectively identify and address related risks. 

As one of the first steps towards catalysing action for a more sustainable tomorrow through the business and finance sector, CIMB will host The Cooler Earth – https://coolerearth.cimb.com/ – its inaugural sustainability summit, on October 1 and 2  in Kuala Lumpur.

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