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IFC Supports Better Environmental and Social Risk Management in Thai Banks

Bangkok, Thailand, July 26, 2011 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping banks in Thailand better manage environmental and social risks in their lending operations and improve the sustainability of the projects they finance locally and abroad.
IFC and the Thai Bankers’ Association are holding their first workshop in Thailand on international environmental and social risk management best practices and tools, including the Equator Principles, which have been adopted by 72 financial institutions worldwide. The Equator Principles are based on IFC’s Performance Standards, which define clients’ roles and responsibilities for ensuring environmental and social sustainability in their projects.
“This workshop is a timely effort to raise local banks’ awareness and understanding of how to pursue sustainable banking through environmental and social risk management,” said Chartsiri Sophonpanich, Chairman of Thai Bankers’ Association. “The current challenge for Thailand is maintaining sustainable growth and effectively addressing environmental issues such as industrial pollution and waste treatment. The financial sector can play an important role if it adopts sustainable approaches in risk management and lending policies, and proactively finances projects offering good economic, environmental, and social returns.”
The workshop brings together speakers from Citibank and Industrial Bank, the first bank in China to adopt the Equator Principles. An official from the China Banking Regulatory Commission will be sharing China’s experience in successfully implementing the IFC-supported “Green Credit Policy,” which encourages banks to lend more to energy-efficient and climate-friendly projects and enterprises.
“IFC has been a leader in setting standards for environmental and social sustainability and in sharing its experience with financial institutions around the world,” said Simon Andrews, IFC Regional Manager for Thailand, Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Vietnam. “The achievements of banks that have adopted the Equator Principles, including China’s Industrial Bank, make a strong business case for sustainable banking in emerging markets and show that environmental and social responsibility goes hand in hand with commercial success.”
The workshop forms part of IFC’s program to provide guidance, training, tools, and cross-border knowledge sharing to support financial institutions in managing their environmental and social risks while bringing about sustainable economic growth.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit .
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About Thai Bankers’ Association
Since its establishment in 1958, the Thai Bankers’ Association has played an active role in representing the banking community in discussions with the Bank of Thailand, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Commerce, and other government agencies in formulating and implementing key economic and financial policies. For more information, visit .
About the Equator Principles
The Equator Principles are a voluntary set of guidelines for managing social and environmental issues related to project finance. Launched in Washington D.C. on June 4, 2003, the Equator Principles were developed based on IFC’s Performance Standards and initially adopted by 10 global financial institutions: ABN AMRO Bank, N.V., Barclays PLC, Citigroup, Inc., Credit Lyonnais, Credit Suisse Group, HVB Group, Rabobank Group, The Royal Bank of Scotland, WestLB AG, and Westpac Banking Corporation. To date, 72 institutions in 27 countries have officially adopted the Equator Principles. For more information, visit .