KARACHI: Bank Alfalah held a formal signing ceremony with International Finance Corporation (IFC) to formalise commencement of diagnostic assessment on Green Business Facilitation, a statement said on Wednesday.
In October 2017, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced its green banking guidelines for banks to study and implement, it added.
One pillar of the SBP’s green banking guidelines is ‘Green Business Facilitation’. It entails allocation of funding resources to those businesses, which directly or indirectly want to reduce their carbon foot-print, be more resource efficient and use other means to reduce their environmental impact, it said.
International Finance Corporation (IFC) will assess the current state of readiness for Bank Alfalah to embark on a sustainable green banking business, the statement said.
In this project, IFC and Bank Alfalah will carry out a diagnostic exercise jointly on the existing portfolio to identify potential sectors where the bank may introduce green financing solutions to its clients.
Faisal Rabbani, chief risk officer at Bank Alfalah, said: “Bank Alfalah is a highly customer-centric organisation, while IFC has global track record on Green Business Facilitation. This partnership will eventually help Bank Alfalah to provide innovative green financing to its valued customers.”
Bilal Asghar, group head of Corporate, Investment Banking and International Business Group, at Bank Alfalah, also shared his thoughts on the arrangement saying, “It’s a great partnership between Bank Alfalah and IFC on this Green initiative. This is a key agenda for the Bank and we look forward to build this through with IFC’s assistance on this program in a sustained manner.”
Rachel Freeman, manager of IFC Financial Institution Group Advisory for Asia and Pacific, signed the engagement letter, while Faisal Rabbani, signed on behalf of Bank Alfalah.
IFC is a global leader in green banking, and, is a pioneer in the green bond market and one of the largest global issuers of green bonds. To date, IFC has worked with around 150 clients, and provided Rs7 billion climate financing volume since 1997.
Around 50 clients have had advisory support with IFC to build capacity in green banking / climate finance.
“Green banking is a key priority for IFC globally, and, through this engagement, IFC is excited to leverage its global experience in green banking to support Bank Alfalah in building capacity in green banking. IFC is committed to supporting green banking in Pakistan, including providing both investment and advisory support to the banking sector for green banking. Green banking is a win–win for the financial sector because it makes both commercial sense, while being good for the environment,” said Rachel Freeman.